~Careers in Cruising Initiative~
PHILIPSBURG:--- The Government of St. Maarten and Royal Caribbean Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Dr. A.C. Wathey Cruise & Port Facility signifying the beginning of a partnership that will create an expansion of St. Maarten’s job market within the cruising industry.
- This has been a joint initiative of the Honorable Minister of Justice Anna E. Richardson together with the Honorable Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Omar Ottley, whereby job seekers will now gain access to lucrative careers onboard the cruise lines of Royal Caribbean Group, from line entry to executive-level positions.
Present at the ceremony were the Council of Ministers, Members of Parliament, the Ministries of Justice, and the NESC (National Employment Service Center), together with the Management of Labor Affairs. Royal Caribbean Group was duly represented by Ms. Wendy McDonald, Regional Vice President of government relations (Caribbean), and Management of Port St. Maarten.
This initiative began in 2021, while preparations were ongoing for the launch of St. Maarten’s homeporting venture. During this period, Minister Richardson seized an opportunity to explore the possibilities of St. Maarten providing employment for persons to work onboard cruise lines. The then Minister of TEATT and now current Member of Parliament Ludmila de Weever formally introduced Minister Richardson to Royal Caribbean Group Vice President, Mr. Joshua Carroll. Through discussions with Mr. Carroll, he indicated that this was in alignment with the plans of Royal Caribbean Group to increase the number of crew from the Caribbean.
Minister Richardson and Minister Ottley, both expressed their enthusiasm and showed their support for this project. From here, formal discussions between the Government of St. Maarten and Royal Caribbean began, as well as a legal review to explore the possibilities of having this project become a reality for the people of St. Maarten to work onboard Royal Caribbean Group vessels.
Minister Ottley stated,
"This is a historic moment for Sint Maarten and its people. As Minister of Labor, I can confidently say that today marks a milestone within our labor market. I would first like to thank the Division Head of Labor Affairs and Social Services, Mrs. Dros- Richardson, the NESC team that worked tirelessly on this project, my colleagues of the Council of Ministers, and the entire Royal Caribbean Group team for their input, support, and assistance.
This initiative falls in line with the set goals of the Ministry of VSA, one of which is to create job opportunities for the people of Sint Maarten in order to increase our spending power and re-boost our economy. The people of Sint Maarten will benefit greatly from the opportunities afforded by this initiative, as it will provide
safe, enjoyable, and rewarding careers for them with up to one thousand (1,000) job opportunities within the cruise industry. Sint Maarten, I encourage you to take advantage of the possibilities!"
Minister Richardson expressed, “I am happy that this dream has come to fruition for the people of St. Maarten. Based on the extensive categories of employment, my hope is that many within our population will embrace this great opportunity of expansion in our job market. History has been made with this initiative whereby the Government can now afford its people the opportunity to sail around the world, develop their skills and earn an income while representing St. Maarten.”
“I take this time to thank my colleague Minister Ottley for recognizing this great opportunity for St. Maarten, and Division Head of Labor Affairs and Social Services, Mrs. Dros-Richardson and her National Employment Service Center Team for their professionalism, enthusiasm, attention to detail, thought process, support, and overall genuine approach to bringing this to May 11, 2022. I also take this time to thank the Department of Legal Affairs, MP Ludmila de Weever, Royal Caribbean Group Vice Presidents Mr. Joshua Carroll and Mr. Russell Benford, Attorney Ms. Peggy Ann Brandon, and Port St. Maarten for all their support and assistance. Today, we can proudly say that the people of St. Maarten are now afforded an opportunity to gain access to lucrative careers in the cruise industry. Congratulations St. Maarten!” stated Minister Richardson.
Wendy McDonald stated,
“Helping create economic opportunity and providing options for the people of St. Maarten to support their families is one of the best ways Royal Caribbean Group can show up as a destination partner as we collectively rebound from the loss of tourism,” said McDonald. “We look forward to successful job recruitment events that lead to fulfilling careers and provide us with teammates who help us create vacation memories that last a lifetime.”
Moving forward, the Government of St. Maarten will facilitate the first cruise industry job fair, which will be hosted by the National Employment Service Center (NESC) within the Ministry of VSA and Royal Caribbean Group’s Human Resources department.
The general public is encouraged to stay informed for more information on the application procedure that will be forthcoming.