The Adrian Loveridge Column – Will Barbados Have to Recruit Hotel Workers to Staff the Hyatt and Sam Lords?

Adrian Loveridge

I read with some incredulity an article entitled Hotel school’s funds ‘drying up’ – Principal in another section of the media.

Knowing the critical importance tourism is to sustaining our economy and the various, proposed or under ongoing hotel projects around the island, which by all the various figures quoted will necessitate hundreds of skilled hospitality workers, why should our single learning institute dedicated to this sector be experiencing any funding problems whatsoever?

While I can fully understand many parents are under considerable financial pressure at this time and you only have to visit a supermarket on a frequent basis to witness rampant price rises to comprehend this. But surely the quoted annual fees of $400, purchase of uniforms, other various materials including a three-week certificate course to a two-year associate degree programme to attend The Hospitality Institute can be raised in more creative ways for the students (or their parents) who genuinely cannot afford these fees?

Yes I am all for corporate Barbados doing more, especially those chosen few who have benefited disproportionately when compared to the majority of tourism partners which have included widespread concessions and avoidance of paying tax, note however that Government already has a simple mechanism to grant partially enhanced write-off of profits for this purpose.

A simple example was the 150 percent allowance to funds contributed to the Tourism Development Corporation which I understand is no longer applied.

The question also has to be asked, are students receiving supplemental funds from the ‘contingency fund means-tested? Surely this would include whether students can afford to buy and maintain expensive cell-phones.

In developed countries, it is quite normal for those studying to work part time to supplement higher education fees. Why should it be different here? Clearly if the student really is considering a future in tourism, then on-the-job practical experience at one of our hotels or restaurants would be an incredible plus for both the employee and employer.

To ensure any monies earned through labour undertaken by these interns reaches the Institute, either directly or in study support, some simple arrangement could be established where the tourism partner directly purchases required uniform, a bus pass, provisions for ‘lunch money’ and/or annual fees to offset ‘work experience’ contribution.

Among the new hotel projects are highly trusted big brand names like Westin and Hyatt, surely they wish to avoid at all costs the much discussed ‘transition’ and potential damage to reputation another chain property experienced and which seemed to last a lot longer than many could have imagined at the time.

In the article it was quoted that ‘the hotel school accepts about 250 new students each year for the full time course’. Subject to planning and construction delays, where is the deficit in employee numbers going to come from with at least three projects coming on-stream within the next two years, if completion dates quoted are even vaguely creditable?

There must currently be a finite pool of trained hospitality staff, so unless this issue is adequately addressed, will the only alternative be to import non-nationals?

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30 Comments on “The Adrian Loveridge Column – Will Barbados Have to Recruit Hotel Workers to Staff the Hyatt and Sam Lords?”

  1. lawson May 15, 2017 at 5:36 AM #

    Sounds like indentured slaves Adrian the optics of it may not fly, I think a better way would be for people abroad to invest the 400 dollars in students that need a hand up not hand out. The system would have to be set up where some one cannot siphon off the money or show special treatment. If it is done properly you even get a tax write-off in my case cra

    Like

  2. Artax May 15, 2017 at 7:01 AM #

    Tourism Minister Richard Sealy has been constantly referring to the Sandals project in Maxwell, which may provide much needed employment for Barbadians. However, Stewart has an advantage since he will save millions of dollars in construction costs as a result of the following concessions:

    (a) all import duties, taxes, imposts and levies of any nature whatsoever, including Value Added Tax, on the importation or local purchase of:

    (i) all capital goods such as building materials, articles of hotel equipment, furniture. furnishings, fixtures, fittings, construction machinery, boats, watercraft, vehicles for the Hotel’s use, televisions, computer equipment, telephones, software, hardware, shrubs and plants, garden and agriculture equipment, promotional and marketing materials for operating the Hotel and for the cyclical re-furbishing undertaken from time to time in order to maintain the Hotel to the standards of the Sandals brand;

    (ii) consumables for the operation of the Hotel, including but not limited to operating supplies, soft furnishings, printed materials, guest supplies, spa supplies, paper, stationery, books and spare parts for equipment;

    Certain terms and conditions should have been applied to these generous tax concessions given to Gordon “Butch” Stewart & his Sandals Resort by this inept DLP administration.

    Stewart should have been required, for example, to contribute a percentage of what his hotels would save from not paying taxes for 40 years, to the Barbados Community College’s Hospitality Institute (BCCHI) to assist in the development of students for the hospitality industry. Such terms and conditions should also be applicable to hotels that may benefit from similar tax concessions in the future.

    The money could be used, for example, to improve the BCCHI curriculum to international standards and assist or provide deserving students with financial aid or loans through the contingency fund.

    Under the circumstances of internationally recognized and acceptable qualifications, hotels such as Sandy Lane would have difficulty in convincing tourism authorities that they can never receive suitable applications for any vacancy they advertise and why they always need to apply for work permits to recruit non-nationals.

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  3. Artax May 15, 2017 at 8:17 AM #

    Regional governments should assess if the economic impact of permanent tourism jobs created would outweigh the tax concessions Sandals is likely to demand.

    Sandals’ tax concession agreement with the former Antigua & Barbuda’s UPP government allows the hotel to retain 65% of sales tax collected from their guest. The agreement, which extends for another 25 years would also allow Sandals not to pay taxes directly to the Treasury, as well as not paying taxes on imported capital items, none on food or beverage, and on items needed for resort improvements.

    The current Gaston Browne administration described it as “an awful agreement” and has been seeking to discontinue the concessions.

    Like

  4. Vincent Haynes May 15, 2017 at 9:23 AM #

    Artax

    Why are you surprised……have you forgotten the meaning of “poor rakey”?

    Like

  5. Prodigal Son May 15, 2017 at 9:39 AM #

    Artax

    Do you think that if Sandals is sold that a new government would be bound to uphold the washpan of concessions given to Butch Stewart as an incentive to invest here?

    Like

  6. Prodigal Son May 15, 2017 at 9:41 AM #

    Adrian

    I guess the minister can always import Chinese to staff the hotel since he allowed them to bring Chinese to build Sam Lords.

    Hyatt is a long ways off………

    Like

  7. NorthernObserver May 15, 2017 at 9:54 AM #

    They will staff them with Chinese.

    Like

  8. David May 15, 2017 at 10:11 AM #

    Joke right?

    Guess we can issue a disclaimer in our key tourism markets US,UK and CAN- visitor prequisite must be able to speak mandarin.

    Like

  9. CUP/BFP.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI May 15, 2017 at 10:26 AM #

    Being a maid or a bag man can not pay the bank for a home, Are Bajans to be the slaves in their own homes? A living wage needs to be paid, Jobs or slavery ?what are the Hotels really bringing for the people?

    Like

  10. NorthernObserver May 15, 2017 at 10:28 AM #

    At the press conference following the 2017 Ky Oaks, a representative of the winning owners, the China Horse Club, when describing progress China is making in the sport, referenced Chinese riders gaining overseas experience, and the first word out of his mouth…”Barbados”. They will learn to speak English.

    Like

  11. Artax May 15, 2017 at 10:28 AM #

    @ Prodigal

    The new Gaston Browne administration in Antigua revoked the concessions granted to Sandals by the previous UPP administration, was considered to be a breach of contract by Sandals’ lawyer James Bristol.

    The following excerpt, taken from the June 16, 2016 edition of the Antigua Observer, would give you an insight of what may occur if a new a Barbados administration seeks to rescind the present tax concession agreement:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    According to an attorney for Sandals Resorts International (SRI) James Bristol, the agreement under which the Sandals Grande Resort received a 65 per cent concession on ABST was binding and was negotiated in 2009.

    He called the action “despicable” and said it puts Antigua & Barbuda “in a bad light internationally as a safe place in which to invest… It is atrocious. As a lawyer and a former attorney general of Grenada I have never seen the like.”

    Bristol contends that the government took, “unilateral action to break an agreement upon which Sandals has relied and performed…”

    In a June 9 letter to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, decried the change.

    The letter read: “The withdrawal of the concession poses significant operational cost increases for Sandals at a difficult time in which investors need to be confident that arrangements made with host territories are trustworthy…”

    “We view this decision as quite regrettable. It calls into question the trust and credibility of the Antiguan administration and sets a bad precedence for investors in the region, whereby sacred agreements which are preconditions for development can be broken at will.”

    “We consider this a breach of contract inconceivable with far-reaching implications beyond the boundaries of Antigua,” it added.

    Contacted, Prime Minister, Gaston Browne said the government has the “right” to renegotiate the “clearly inequitable” agreement, but advised that negotiations over the ABST are ongoing.

    Like

  12. CUP/BFP.Violet Beckles Plantation Deeds from 1926-2017 land tax bills and no Deeds,BLPand DLP Massive land Fruad and PONZI May 15, 2017 at 10:30 AM #

    Artax May 15, 2017 at 7:01 AM #

    Tourism Minister Richard Sealy has been constantly referring to the Sandals project in Maxwell,@@@

    Well did the crook Minister also say that Sandals is up for sale also? Now I don’t know if its the full company or just the one in Barbados, They try to sell before a new government gets in to see the land fraud they have been a part of?

    Like

  13. Artax May 15, 2017 at 10:31 AM #

    @ Prodigal

    Read the following letter James Bristol wrote to Antigua’s UPP Opposition:

    Like

  14. Hants May 15, 2017 at 10:38 AM #

    Sandals job fair 2014

    ” They arrived in droves starting at 5:30 a.m., desperate to secure a steady pay cheque. By midmorning, the anxious mob totalled 5,000 people.”

    Expect the same for Sam Lords and Hyatt.

    Like

  15. David May 15, 2017 at 10:50 AM #

    @Hants

    How many were suitably qualified?

    Like

  16. Artax May 15, 2017 at 11:28 AM #

    Excellent question, David.

    And perhaps you may want to add how many from the anxious mob of 5,000 who were originally employed, remained employed.

    Like

  17. angela Skeete May 15, 2017 at 12:46 PM #

    Another blowing of the trumpet soundoff.

    Like

  18. Gabriel May 15, 2017 at 4:03 PM #

    Northern
    The North Point Surf Resort was managed by a Scandinavian Rolf Nielsen.It appeared as though Rolf learned to speak ‘English’ in St Lucy.Talk about bad,bad broken bajan lowerdee brand as only obtains in Sen Lucy…{they do not say Sint(correct pronunciation)Lucy.}

    Like

  19. Gabriel May 15, 2017 at 4:10 PM #

    Artax
    I read on a thread on BU that the opportunity cost of those Sandals giveaways is calculated at$500,000,000.00 over the 40 year period.Also note that the IMF has criticized the Antigua government for those tax breaks given to Sandals.If and when the government invites the IMF to Bay St again as they did in 91/92,you can be sure the same advice will be proffered.

    Like

  20. Prodigal Son May 15, 2017 at 5:18 PM #

    Artax

    Thanks for the follow up…………gives me hope that some of the wrongs can be corrected.

    Gabriel……..I heard that $500,000,000 figure quoted in the House as well.

    It is a burning shame that the same morons who gave Sandals this sweet heart deal has a refused to offer local hoteliers even a fraction of the duty free concessions.

    Talk about one law for the Medes and another for the Persians?

    Like

  21. angela Skeete May 15, 2017 at 6:21 PM #

    what if there was no sandals in barbados can some one please explain from which other avenue the benefits of jobs would have been derived
    can some one explain how many of those who are now working with sandals would have benefited by not being employed
    can some one please explain how those in the agricultural industry who now are selling produce to Sandals and who have been able to gain financially how and where these sellers would have been able to source such form of additional revenue

    Like

  22. Hants May 15, 2017 at 6:25 PM #

    @ David who asked “How many were suitably qualified?”

    Probably 1000 of them.

    Then again it is Barbados and there are always “standards of exclusion”.

    Like

  23. Artax May 15, 2017 at 6:44 PM #

    SMH……….Here enters the resident DLP yard-fowl spewing her usual shiite political rhetoric and unsubstantiated generalized statements.

    In her efforts to defend this inept DLP administration granting Sandals 40 years of tax free concessions, the jackass is attempting to convince intelligent people that Sandals is responsible for the increase in tourism arrivals, reduction in unemployment and the farmers have suddenly received a excess revenue (when James Paul says otherwise).

    Perhaps she should present to BU, INFORMATION to SUBSTANTIATE her claim re: “how those in the agricultural industry who now are selling produce to Sandals and who have been able to gain financially how and where these sellers would have been able to source such form of additional revenue.”

    Sometime I believe Angela Skeete is a combination of the Brass Tacks regulars “Ms Undecided” and “Left Brain.”

    Like

  24. David May 15, 2017 at 6:52 PM #

    Sometime I believe Angela Skeete is a combination of the Brass Tacks regulars “Ms Undecided” and “Left Brain.”

    NO, more like Arthur and Miss Undecided.

    Like

  25. Artax May 15, 2017 at 7:02 PM #

    Hahahahaha…. exactly!!!

    I forgot about the DLP’s “spin doctor” Arthur, who similarly to Angela Skeete, has to comment on every topic.

    Like

  26. David May 15, 2017 at 7:58 PM #

    Boost for tourism training

    SHAWN CUMBERBATCH/PR,

    Added 14 May 2017

    esther-byer-suckoo-and-paul-collymore-with-patricia-dass-and-sadie-white-and-dwayne-greenidge-050817

    Minister of Labour Senator Dr Esther Byer Suckoo (right) with (from left) Ocean Two Resort general manager Paul Collymore, group general manager Patricia Dass, and Ocean Two NVQ programme participants Sadie White and Dwayne Greenidge. (GP)

    THE OCEAN HOTELS GROUP has cemented itself as a leader in training and human resource development in the tourism and hospitality industry.

     

    This was underscored with the recent accreditation of Ocean Two Resort, one of three hotels in the group, as an assessment centre for National and Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (NVQs and CVQs) in collaboration with the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET Council).

    “We place great emphasis on employee development, and having an assessment centre in the Ocean Hotels Group makes us proud to be standard bearers, both locally and regionally,” said Patricia Dass, group general manager.

    Other properties making up the Ocean Hotels Group are Sea Breeze Hotel and South Beach Hotel.by

    Last week, a ceremony was staged at Ocean Two Resort, in Dover, Christ Church, to recognise the establishment of the assessment centre offering Level 2 CVQs in customer service in the tourism industry.

    Minister of Labour Senator Dr Esther Byer Suckoo, TVET Council chairman Dr Hensley Sobers and TVET Council executive director Henderson Eastmond were among those attending the ceremony.

    Education and tourism executives said the programme was the first step before various other programmes for NVQs and CVQs were rolled out for employees of the Ocean Hotels Group to enhance their personal and professional skills.

    Dass praised general manager Paul Collymore, special projects coordinator Jenise Hurley and training officer Megan Jordan for their work and commitment in working with the TVET Council to establish the centre and developing the curriculum.

    Suckoo urged other businesses to follow the Ocean Hotels Group’s example. (PR/SC)

      See more at: http://www.nationnews.com/nationnews/news/96583/boost-tourism-training#sthash.Uf22DOr6.dpuf

      Like

    • Chef Cameron Jones May 15, 2017 at 10:23 PM #

      The International hotels like Sandals, Hyatt, The Castle..Could extend offers of employment to Barbados,chefs and managers working in international cities . Who in turn can offer international on the job training , to new employees.Or pay for their training,like they do here in the US. With the requirement,of the students ,working for ex number of years for the establishment,in return.

      Like

    • angela Skeete May 16, 2017 at 8:19 AM #

      I post three questions of relevancy to barbados economy and all the blp paling cocks lead by the proessional and most esteemed yardfowl one Artax can replied is to attack
      No wonder Mia Mottley chances of being PM are doomed since her foot soldiers on BU are only convince that attacking other people views are the pathway to Mia winning

      Like

    • Artax May 16, 2017 at 9:19 AM #

      Yawnnnn…. chuckle!!!!!

      Like

    • David May 18, 2017 at 6:24 AM #

      Look like Barbados tourism will catch a break with the markets starting to punish Trump. Will the US dollar weaken significantly to stoke the European market?

      Like

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