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Employment agency expands before 2017 boost

A Bermudian company is expanding as it anticipates a dramatic surge in demand for hospitality staff and services next year.

And it is calling on Bermudians with experience of working in hospitality and related services, from housekeeping, to food and beverages services and laundry services, to step forward.

Specialist hospitality staffing services have been added to the range of recruitment solutions offered by Bermuda Executive Services, which is part of The Queen Group.

The employment and business services agency, which has offices on Cedar Avenue, foresees high demand for hospitality workers as the island enjoys an upturn in tourism numbers and prepares to host the America’s Cup in May and June.

Clients and partners of The Queen Group have started to enquire about the availability of extra workers in 2017. This led to BES adding specialist hospitality staffing services to its roster.

The company links suitable recruits to employers who have vacancies. In order to cover all bases, BES has partnered with a US-based staffing company that has a “significant network” of hospitality professionals. At the same time, it is keen to tap into the skills, talents and expertise of Bermudians.

Anthony Mocklow, group sales director of The Queen Group, said: “Bermudians who have any hospitality skills - it is time to get involved.

“Let’s get Bermudians back to work. As a Bermudian I think it’s the right thing to do.”

Aside from the America’s Cup, the island’s hospitality sector will be boosted through Bermuda Tourism Authority initiatives, “a massive increase” in Airbnb and vacation rentals by owners and “expanding flagship resorts”, according to the company.

As restaurants and hotels get busier there will be a knock-on effect down the supply chain, said Mr Mocklow.

Organisations, businesses and companies that need to boost staff numbers to cope with the busiest months of 2017 can contact BES with a list of their requirements. The employment agency will then present for consideration the people it has registered who have the appropriate skills and experience.

“We can offer a consolidated service to bring the people that are needed. We’ve had interest from a shipping company, a caregiving company, a cleaning company and a media company. We see a spike in work permit applications and for Airbnb services.”

He added: “There has been a wonderful uptick in people’s entrepreneurial interest. They are asking, ‘How can we get involved?’”

BES has strengthened its team in anticipation of busier times ahead. Lindsay Connolly, a recruitment professional from Scotland, has experience recruiting for the hospitality sector and special events. She is looking forward to the challenges and excitement of the America’s Cup.

“It is a very exciting time for Bermuda, and I would encourage anyone with an interest in hospitality industry to step up to this unique experience,” she said, adding that the agency can help people tweak their resumes to highlight their relevant previous experience in hospitality roles.

Mr Mocklow said the company was a one-stop shop, carrying out searches and recruitment in order to provide a service to hospitality sector employers seeking staff.

“We encourage locals with experience in hospitality to register directly with us, either by e-mail or on our website,” he said.

“Many of our hospitality partners have expressed an interest in our staffing solutions and we are confident that this will provide a strong supporting approach to the efforts being made by the entire industry.

“Bermuda can maximise the value of these exciting events and existing on-island attractions.”

Charter boats have started preparing for their extended stays in Bermuda next year, and that includes requests for on board floral arrangements and other Bermudian-flavoured touches.

Mr Mocklow said: “We have been contacted by private yachts who want chefs who can make Bermudian food.

“We encourage people with the skills to come and book with us. If you are Bermudian and have the experience, it’s an opportunity. Maybe someone has a skill that can be used again. All Bermudians should be positively impacted by this.”

He said the island must ensure it delivers “a five-diamond hospitality experience” when the eyes of the world are on it next year.

In a statement, BES said its goal is to have an extensive and coordinated supply of talented hospitality professionals, including opportunities for Bermudians, to fill the potential demand for hospitality professionals.

Roddy Petty, chief executive officer of The Queen Group, said: “We are anticipating a demand increase in every area of hospitality both locally and internationally.

“The increase in demand from private yachts, resorts and developments, as well as an increase in business entertainment will certainly drive the need for staffing resources. Our business solutions and services are ideally placed to satisfy the demand.”

Bermudians have shown a keen willingness to be involved with the America’s Cup event.

Mr Mocklow said: “One out of every four resumes we get are from people asking if there are any roles with an America’s Cup element.”

He added there are “tremendous opportunities to get talented and experienced people into the workforce”, and urged anyone interested to contact Ms Connolly or himself, or visit the company’s website at www.bermudaemployment.com.

Busier days ahead: Bermuda Executive Services is expanding into the hospitality staffing industry in anticipation of higher demand in that sector next year, particularly around the months of the America's Cup