Statia’s Golden Opportunity programme began on Wed. | THE DAILY HERALD

Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis speaking at the event. (Althea Merkman photo)


Seated front row, from left: Silverstip CEO and Golden Rock Resort Managing Director Remie Sordam; domestic violence and child rights policy coordinator Dirkje de Jong; Public Health Department Director Carol Jack-Roosberg; and Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis. (Althea Merkman photo)


Silverstip CEO and Golden Rock Resort Managing Director Remie Sordam speaking at the event. (Althea Merkman photo)


Attendees at the Golden Opportunity event. (Statia government photo)

ST. EUSTATIUS–The training and employment of 24 St. Eustatius residents at Golden Rock Estate began on Wednesday, November 18. After twelve months of training on the job and proven excellent performance, a two-year employment contract at Golden Rock Estate is guaranteed.

  The job programme’s kick-off ceremony was held at Mike van Putten Youth Center on Tuesday, November 17. Present (online) were Wiebren van Dijk (Deputy Department Head Employers and Social Security outside the European Netherlands), certified hospitality instructor Bart Peut and Teuny van Rossem and Letty Brands of Driessen Company.

  Deputy Government Commissioner Alida Francis addressed the selected candidates during the ceremony.

  “The ball is in your court. You were born and raised in Statia. You are the faces of Statia’s tourism and hospitality sector and therefore can offer visitors to our island the real vacation experience. The experience with local people is the single most important ingredient that helps visitors to select a particular vacation destination. Top quality and excellence in service need to be offered. You will be trained by some of the best in the industry. Therefore, make this golden opportunity work for you,” she said.

  The candidates were selected in close collaboration with New Challenges Foundation (NCF) and the Labour Department. NCF delivers the teachers and instructors to train the hospitality employees in various areas: front desk, bartenders, waitresses and hostesses etc.

  Island Essence assisted the Labour Department in establishing the standards and criteria for admission, testing, review, completion and passage of the training programme. Island Essence will guide the selected employees in acquiring sufficient practice during the project phase to help them execute duties required for skills development.

  The public entity of St. Eustatius, NCF and Island Essence agreed to collaborate on educating and preparing young adults for the job market in hospitality. The proof of commitment was endorsed on Thursday, August 28, with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Golden Opportunity Job Programme.

  The public entity of St. Eustatius will contribute 50 per cent of the expenses related to the programme, through financial support from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment SZW. The remaining 50 per cent will be funded by Golden Rock Estate.

  Francis expressed the wish that other companies in St. Eustatius would follow suit with suitable job programmes that will grant Statia youth the opportunity to participate and grow along with the island’s development process.

Source: The Daily Herald