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TCI: Ritz Carlton mostly sold, mostly staffed with Turks & Caicos Islanders

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#TurksandCaicos, April 21, 2021 – Of the sixty residences at Ritz Carlton Grace Bay, nearly all are sold and of the 300 staff to be hired for the July opening of the country’s newest hotel, three quarters are Turks and Caicos Islanders.

Sixteen-year realtor, Carolina Malcolm, who is a senior Executive Sales Agent with Regency Christies is ecstatic about the interest in the Ritz Carlton.  Malcolm, on Monday, explained only six units remain unsold at this stage, making the high rise resort in Providenciales a very hot ticket.

Turks and Caicos Labour Commissioner, Edwin Taylor had an equally healthy report about the ratio of locals to expatriate workers. 

“I would say three quarters of the people who have been offered a job at the Ritz Carlton are Turks and Caicos Islanders.  At the Open Day and Job Fair, which we hosted jointly with the hotel, we had 384 people turn out to apply and interview for jobs.  At least 45 individuals made a lasting impression, some of them for senior positions; these candidates will be offered a place at the Ritz,” explained Taylor.

Striking what is perceived as a fair balance on the employment scene is often a pressure point for indigenous residents, who argue they are overlooked for the best jobs or are not allowed a foot in the door.

Both the Ritz Carlton and the Department of Labour have gone to great lengths to upend that narrative, with positive results said Mr. Taylor who adds salaries are also very competitive.

“The Ritz Carlton is offering starting salaries above minimum wage, at least two dollars over others in the market.  It gives the hotel an edge and helps them to fill their staff quotas quickly.”

Danitra Clare, Human Resources Director with the Ritz Carlton, said the recruitment needs continue to grow with the exceptionally strong sales of the residences and strong bookings for July, which is when the country’s newest, tallest resort opens. 

“We are looking at approximately 150 plus, local islanders who would have been offered positions within the Turks and Caicos so far and today, with this turn out, I pretty sure this is going to help us finalise our numbers,” said Clare during the staging of the Open Day held on April 14 at the Gus Lightbourne Gym, in down town Providenciales.

“We are specifically looking for persons in the Turks and Caicos and that is why we do these job fairs.  To give persons that live here the opportunity to take on the role within hospitality.”

Steering those interviewees at the one day Job Fair was the energetic general manager, John Hazard who agreed that bookings are going well, dropping that the July 4 weekend will be sizzling at the RitzCarlton.  

“Grace Bay Beach is one of the best beaches in the world and that address alone generates a level of buzz that we have already seen.  Our forward reservations are already very strong and really encouraging.  We continue to see that (throughout).  There is just an incredible buzz around the hotel, the brand coming to the island and Grace Bay beach,” shared Mr. Hazard. 

On the sales side, Regency Christie’s, as the exclusive brokers for the Ritz Carlton is pleased with movement of residences at Tower B.  Tower B is home to 24 luxury two and three bedrooms suites. 

In an idea of what buyers are prepared to pay to have a sky high home on #1 Grace Bay Beach, Malcolm shared that residences at RitzCarlton start just over $1.9 million USD; and if one scales up to the ninth floor, a home at the Ritz can cost just over $2 million USD for an ocean view suite. 

On the hotel side, reservations are being accepted from July 2nd and currently the hotel is over 50 per cent booked.  Carolina Malcolm is also encouraging those interested in a Ritz Carlton holiday in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos to visit the Marriott’s website to book your stay.

Crime

PRESS STATEMENT: MINISTRY OF EDUCATION

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#TurksandCaicos, January 27, 2023 – The Ministry responsible for Education confirms that a recent report of alleged sexual abuse was brought to the attention of authorities at a particular school. For the protection of the child, we will not divulge details of this matter. We do acknowledge that there were issues experienced which resulted in less than appropriate response to the incident.

 The Ministry is continuing its investigation of the incident, in its totality and has since requested a comprehensive report on the response from all involved. Several meetings, visits and discussions were held. The key is to ensure that the minor involved is afforded additional counselling and care and that other students within the institution are also afforded the relevant support needed. The Student Support Services has been active in coordinating this response which is currently in operation.

 As an immediate further action, the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) entities will convene and existing protocols will be reviewed and investigations conducted to determine the consistency of the response, exactly where the established protocols were not followed and the subsequent actions to be taken.

 The Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Social Services considers its responsibility for the Safeguarding of children of utmost importance. In so doing, the Ministry of Education has instituted a number of measures over the years to ensure that allegations of abuse to children in schools are treated with urgency. The creation of the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) was created to ensure that teachers, leaders, Social Workers, and Police can respond to allegations with the child’s safety and protection as the core consideration. Child safeguarding remains the Ministry’s primary concern.

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Turks & Caicos Islands Cabinet Report, Meeting held January 10

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#TurksandCaicos, January 26, 2023 – His Excellency the Governor, Nigel Dakin, chaired the 1st meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 10 January 2023 at the Premier’s Office on Providenciales.

All Members were present.

At this meeting Cabinet:

  • Approved the Fiscal Strategic Policy Statement (FSPS) 2023-27 which includes the fiscal targets of the Government for the next four (4) years to be submitted to the UK Government before being submitted to the House of Assembly for approval. Members also agreed a wide range of associated steps going forwards.
  • Approved an application for duty concessions on the importation of construction materials, furniture, fixtures and fittings from Grace Bay Club Ltd. to allow the resort to complete refurbishment work.
  • Approved an extension and revision to the MOU between the TCI Government and TCI Finance Limited, which leads on the development and growth of Financial Services in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Approved adjustments to the Agriculture Finance Support Programme (Agro- Grant Incentive) for the provision of compensation for registered farms that incurred damages due to Hurricane Fiona in 2022. Members also supported the adoption of a “Farmer Information System”.
  • Approved proposed measures to control the roaming of livestock in the country covering the registration of livestock farms, construction and maintenance of holding facilities, and the transport of livestock.
  • Approved a proposed model and structure for the New Destination Management and Marketing Organisation and Tourism Regulatory Authority. Members also approved an implementation process, the composition of the appointed Board of Directors, staffing implications, and a financing model, including the establishment of Tourism Improvement Districts and the payment of fees by tourism entities.
  • Approved amendments to the Schedule of the Ports Authority (Stevedorers, Fees, and Charges) Regulations 2008, introducing a variation of stevedoring tariffs. Members also agreed next steps.
  • Noted the impact of the moratorium on the issuance of new visas to Hattian nationals originating out of Haiti and approved the implementation of a moratorium on the issuing of all visas to Haitian Nationals entering the Turks and Caicos Islands for six months with effect from 11 January 2023.
  • Approved the granting of a licence to a named individual for the purpose of erecting a swim deck protruding from the Crown parcel 60400/366 into the adjoining sea and the payment of associated annual fees.
  • Approved the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Planning Department on Providenciales for a period of three years.
  • Discussed the renewal of a lease for the rental of office space for the Government’s Gender Affairs and Social Development Departments on Grand Turk and agreed next steps.
  • Approved the use of existing funds for the use of retrofitting the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College.
  • Approved the gradual outsourcing of janitorial services for government buildings, including schools.
  • Approved the observance of Public Holidays on 8 May 2023 to mark the King’s Coronation and on 19 June 2023 to mark the King’s Birthday.
  • Was updated on issues related to the Ministries of:
  1. Tourism,
  2. Education, and
  3. AG Chambers,
  4. Office of the Deputy Governor, and
  5. Office of the Governor

Further information on these matters will be provided by Ministers in due course.

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JAMAICA: Multibillion-Dollar Shipyard Project Launched

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#Kingston, Jamaica, January 23, 2023 – Economic opportunities are expected to abound for Jamaica, through the establishment of a multibillion-dollar ship repair and maintenance facility in the country.

Called the German Ship Repair Jamaica (GSRJ) Shipyard, the project will provide dry docking (lifting the ship out of the water) for commercial vessels up to 20,000 tons, and a range of maintenance and repair services to vessels operating in and around the Caribbean and Central America.

Phase one of the project, which is to be completed by October/November this year, is being undertaken at an overall cost of nearly $6 billion (or US$37 million), with financial partner Sagicor Bank committing to half of this amount as a bank loan. This will see the first floating dry dock, JAM-DOCK 1, becoming operational.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, who  delivered the main address at Tuesday’s (January 24) launch at the Kingston Harbour along the Sir Florizel Glasspole Highway,  said that “this project will earn foreign exchange”.

“It will provide high-quality jobs, and it will contribute greatly to the prosperity of our country,” he added.

Mr. Holness noted that the development will contribute to the positioning of Kingston Harbour as a global logistics hub, pointing out that each year, Jamaica receives approximately 3,000 port calls while approximately 180,000 vessels operate within the region.

“With the investments that are being made in improving Kingston as a logistic hub, we are certain that we have now closed one of the major gaps that have existed and that more ships passing through the region will be inclined to come to Jamaica,” he said.

For his part, GSRJ Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Colonel Martin Rickman, said that the project “represents a new industry for Jamaica with great opportunities for other spin-off businesses, hence even contributing more to the economy”.

He pointed out that Jamaica’s “excellent geo-strategic location” makes the country particularly suitable for having a shipyard.

Detailing the specific operations of the facility, Colonel Rickman explained that “we here at GSRJ Shipyard will be able to lift that ship out of the water to conduct many types of work on the hull, the propeller, engine repairs and the entire nine yards, so this is significant for us”.

By international maritime law, all ships are required to be dry-docked to check for safety and integrity once every five years and attain class certification.

The CEO said that the training component of the project is crucial to enable  workers to meet the international standards to carry out the required operations.

He informed that some persons have already been trained.

In his remarks, President and CEO of Sagicor Group, Christopher Zacca, said that as lead arranger, the organisation is “confident that this new development will make a significant impact on the country’s shipping industry while also contributing to our productive economy”.

“We want all Jamaicans to share the vision of the stakeholders; this is a big deal for Jamaica and we want Kingston to have the leading ship repair and servicing port in the Caribbean,” Mr. Zacca said.

The GSRJ’s partners include Harren and Partner Group, Germany; Kingston Holding, Jamaica; Kloska Group, Germany and HAT-SAN Shipyard, Turkey.

Government agencies involved in the project are the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), the National Land Agency (NLA), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Attorney General’s Department, and others.

Several private-sector entities are also involved in making the project a reality.

The GSRJ started business in Jamaica in 2016 with the intention to build a ship-repair facility at the Kingston Harbour to boost employment and introduce the country to viable economic activities in the shipping and maritime industry.

 

Contact:  Mickella Anderson

Release: JIS

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