Tourism Minister Charles “Max” Fernandez has told over ninety men and women recruited to work with the Mediterranean Shipping Company (MCS), that they should use the opportunity to develop their skills and promote their country.
On Thursday, MSC confirmed that they were employing ninety Antiguans and Barbudans and two Dominicans, to work aboard Italian-owned MSC cruise vessels.
MSC with the help of the Ministry of Tourism recently concluded a job recruitment drive to employ just a little over one hundred residents.
Fernandez told Antigua. news that on Thursday, he witnessed the handing over of letters of intent for nine individuals by representatives of MSC. The other individuals he said had to straighten out some issues like medical reports before they could receive their letters.
“This is a very high strike rate because they came down looking for a maximum of 125 to apply and we had over 110 applying and 92 given preliminary acceptances. Nine were given official letters because we said to MSC that we wanted to ensure that our people realize that this could happen and it’s not just an empty promise so they committed to take nine,” he said.
He said those selected were fast-tracked because they had health documents and other required papers on hand.
“We were very pleased that we were able to offer opportunities to, especially young people of Antigua and Barbuda. Coming out of the pandemic, there was a lot of people who were displaced. We have been working very hard to get many opportunities possible for our people to find jobs. The first was Royal Caribbean and the now MSC, a high-end cruise line,” Fernandez said.
MSC onboard recruiter Georgia Dowdell concluded the recruitment drive and congratulated the successful candidates for putting their best foot forward and being selected.
Simone Richards, Policy and Project Specialist within the Ministry of Tourism & Investment said the successful candidates will be guided through the next steps by her and her team before going off to board their respective ships.
MSC operates a fleet of 19 cruise ships and offers cruises within the Caribbean, Northern Europe, South America, and Southern Africa as well as the Mediterranean, UAE, and Asia.
The cruise season in Antigua and Barbuda kicks off in October this year.