Let’s talk about Jobs because I must be living on the wrong island.
I am first and foremost in favor of SUSTAINABLE development. My definition of sustainable development is one that is in harmony with the needs of the island, social, economical and environmental. In other words development that follows a holistic approach.
I am going to assume that all these announcements are coincidental and have nothing to do with next weeks parliamentary elections, but I may be very naive. In the last 2 weeks we have seen the following announcements coming through:
-Pearl of the Caribbean 400 jobs. (PM Marlin, Minister Gibson)
-STA/Hotel Building + 5 star hotel in the works 500 jobs (MP Matser)
So, if we believe what is being said those projects alone will represent 900 jobs for the hospitality industry for St. Maarten. I must wonder where are all these unemployed people? Whenever I participate in a Job Fair organized by the private sector or the labor department no more than 150 sign up. So the question is very simple, who are we creating these jobs for? In order to open and run a successful business you need a combination of qualified people and always some newcomers/beginners, but you cannot base any sustainable new project in the majority being inexperienced staff.
Anybody in business in St. Maarten knows how difficult is to find educated, qualified, experienced staff.
If we are ok with bringing in foreign staff to feel the future needs well lets be transparent and disclose it from the beginning, because we all know there are not 900 locals waiting for jobs on the hospitality industry.