Hospitality Worker Shortage, US Travel Partners looking outward to fill gap
By Dana Malcolm
#USA, April 13, 2023 – A significant dip in hospitality job recruiting on the cusp of a booming season is leading US Tourism partners to call for more migrant workers. The US Travel Association has expressed concern over the unusually low monthly recruitment levels which saw only 72,000 jobs being added to the sector, a 25 percent drop off the usual monthly average of 95,000.
“The drop-off in leisure and hospitality hiring reported today is a concern as our industry prepares for the busy summer season and the need to fill 1.5 million open jobs in this sector,” said Geoff Freeman, U.S. Travel Association President and CEO.
Freeman is now calling on the Government to increase the number of migrant workers available in the workforce.
“An adequately resourced travel workforce is essential to meeting demand and growing revenue in the travel industry. The Federal Government can help solve staffing needs by increasing the cap on H-2B temporary worker visas and permanently exempting returning workers from the cap,” he said.
Many hospitality workers in the Caribbean take advantage of the potential for higher income available in the US on H-2B visas, draining their home countries of workers just as they have forecast also experiencing a boom in tourism bookings.
On the tail end of COVID-19, many people are expected to satiate their appetite for travel this summer, but the US unemployment rate is expected to rise as the Federal Reserve continues aggressive rate hikes to curb inflation.
TCI delegation attends Renewable Energy Conference in Miami
#TurksandCaicos, May 23, 2023 – Hon. Otis Morris, Minister responsible for Energy and Utilities led a TCIG contingent to the 15th annual Caribbean Renewable Energy Forum (CREF) held in Miami USA on April 26th -28th, 2023. More than 450 public and private sector leaders from across 50 countries met in Miami late last month and discussed Caribbean renewable energy market opportunities and challenges.
The Renewable Energy Forum provided a platform to discuss energy transition in changing geopolitical tension, the pressure to decarbonize, and the critical need for energy independence. The challenge is “how do we get the clean energy transition aligned with the United Nations’ target to achieve net-zero emission”.
The TCI delegation participated in two important pre-conference workshops: the Island Resilience Action Challenge (IRAC 2023) and a Hydrogen Summit (H2-Caribbean 2023). It was agreed during IRAC that one of the serious obstacles is “the lack of critical regulatory mechanisms to enable finance of investment needed”. Hon. Morris was also elected as one of the 20 Task Force members to steer activities towards achieving the goals of a smooth energy transition particularly in the TCI. The Government is seriously addressing the regulatory framework for the TCI and hopes for it to be in place this year. Details about the IRAC 2023 can be found at https://goadvancedenergy.com/irac-2023.
The forum featured a CREF Ministerial panel where Hon. Morris joined regional ministerial counterparts to address the question “Are we delivering on energy security and climate resilience for the region”. Hon. Morris shared that “Energy security is a critical issue for the Turks and Caicos Islands which relies heavily on imported fossil fuels for its energy needs. It is no secret that we, just like many other countries in the region, struggle with a higher-than-normal cost of energy. The Turks and Caicos Islands is on a journey to a sustainable energy future and that journey has not always been a smooth one but we know that fundamental to any success we will achieve will be ensuring a strong regulatory framework is in place to guide the process and that the cost of electricity is affordable for all”. He further stressed that “the government has prioritized the need for this transition and are committed to implementing policies, legislation and funding to support the transition”.
The honourable Minister was accompanied by Deputy Permanent Secretary – TeAnn Thomas, Energy and Utilities Commissioner – Delano Arthur, Energy Analyst – Eric Salamanca and TCI RESEMBID SEP Project Officer – Zepherinus Norbert who in addition to attending the sessions engaged in various networking sessions and meetings with potential partners to hasten a smooth transition to green energy in TCI.
The event was sponsored by various entities such as the Advanced Energy Group, Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the World Bank, and the Government of Canada, all of which are actively working within the region to assist small island nations with the transition to clean energy.
Universal Healthcare Coverage Cited as a Big-Ticket Item at 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva
#TheBahamas, May 23, 2023 – Health & Wellness Minister the Honourable Dr. Michael R. Darville, in a pre-assembly interview, has forecast that Non-Communicable Diseases, Universal Healthcare Coverage, areas associated with the pandemic and Anti-microbial Resistance are some of the hot-ticket items on this year’s agenda at the 76th World Health Assembly. Minister Darville who is heading a delegation from The Bahamas comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Health & Wellness, the Public Hospitals Authority and the National Health Insurance Authority cited universal healthcare coverage as a major pillar of the Geneva discussions as the intention is to put it in place globally by the year 2030. He said the government equates the provision of healthcare services with equity across the Bahamas as a priority. This he said will become even more evident when the Parliament moves on new legislation to repeal the old National Health Insurance Act.
The Opening session of the 76th World Health Assembly takes place on Sunday May 21st in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s Assembly is being held under the theme Saving lives, driving health for all, and it comes as the WHO celebrates its 75th anniversary.
The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.
Press Release: Ministry of Health & Wellness
TCIG Leadership Hosts Reception in Manchester UK
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, 23 May 2023 – On Saturday May 15th, in the northern city of Manchester, England, Acting Governor Her Excellency Anya Williams, Premier Hon. C. Washington Misick and Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor led a delegation to meet with students and members of the TCI diaspora.
The evening provided a direct opportunity for students and diaspora members to engage directly with the senior leadership of the territory, in an open forum. Bringing greetings to the large number of guests, the Acting Governor was keen to highlight the important role Turks and Caicos Islanders must play in building their country for future generations. While acknowledging that going away to further your education is a good thing, what is essential is that persons return to build the Turks and Caicos into what they desire it to become. This would mean, according to the Acting Governor, that all skills set will be needed in the journey of nation building.
Echoing those sentiments was the Premier Hon. C. Washington who praised the students on their academic pursuits and the diaspora members for the experience they have gained while in the United Kingdom. The Premier further added, “as the Turks and Caicos grows, the demand for skilled, experienced persons remains high and the government would welcome persons returning.” He further added, “There are numerous small business opportunities that exists for Turks and Caicos Islanders and the government have earmarked certain categories for only Turks and Caicos Islanders and persons should take advantage.”
Minister of Education, Hon. Rachel Taylor in addressing the large group of students present said, ‘It is a pleasure to be here in the presence of our country’s greatest assets, Our People!’ Especially our Youth who will be responsible for the continuous development of our country as we seek to bridge the skills gap through education and training.’ The Minister of Education took the opportunity to have side meetings with the students as she learnt of their personal concerns in relation to the challenges they are experiencing. The Scholarship Officer, Ms. Sharine Lightbourne was also in attendance and was able to actively engage in the side table discussions. Minister Taylor encouraged the students to take advantage of any Internship or Apprenticeship Programs that are available in the UK and reminded them to also register for the TCI National Internship and Apprenticeship Programs being offered. The Minister and her team listened attentively to the concerns and promised to ensure that with the additional manpower being added to the Scholarship Unit within the 2023-2024 budget, it will provide greater opportunity for oversight in relation to our students’ data inclusive of students who are not on Government Scholarships.
The large gathering of Turks and Caicos Islanders in one space marked the conclusion of the TCI delegations visit to the United Kingdom for the Joint Ministerial Council (JMC) and the World Education Forum (WEF).
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
Caribbean News2 days ago
Investigation Launched; Shark Attack or Not?
Caribbean News2 days ago
Big Blue Speaks, says Caribbean Reef Shark responsible for severed foot
Health1 week ago
WORLD HYPERTENSION DAY- “Measure Your Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer”
Caribbean News4 days ago
CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN REALTORS HUB OFFERING EVEN MORE BENEFITS TO REALTORS AND HOMEOWNERS
Caribbean News2 days ago
TCIG not calling Woman’s injury a ‘Shark Attack’
Government1 week ago
TCIG Public Service Salaries to be Reviewed
Caribbean News2 days ago
Shark Attack Reported
Caribbean News4 days ago
CARICOM urged to promote CHEAPER Intra-Regional Travel