Statia’s Golden Opportunity Program

Oranjestad, St. Eustatius -The training and employment of 24 Statian residents at the Golden Rock Estate starts today, Wednesday November 18th 2020. After 12 months of training on the job and proven excellence performance, a 2-year job contract at the Golden Rock Estate is guaranteed.
The kick off ceremony of the job program was held this morning, Tuesday November 17th at the Mike van Putten Youth Center. Present (online) were Wiebren van Dijk (Deputy Department Head Employers and Social Security outside the European Netherlands), Bart Peut  (Certified Hospitality instructor) Teuny van Rossem and Letty Brands (Driessen Company).

The Deputy Government Commissioner, Ms. Alida Francis, addressed the selected candidates during the kick off 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 needs to be offered.  You will be trained by some of the best in the industry. Therefore, make this golden opportunity work for you”.

Selection of candidates was done in close collaboration with the New Challenges Foundation (NCF) and the Labor Department. NCF delivers the teachers and instructors to train the hospitality employees in various areas: front desk, bartenders, waitresses, hostesses etc. Island Essence assisted the Labor Department to establish the standards and criteria for admission, testing, review, completion and passage of the training program. 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, the NCF and Island Essence agreed to collaborate on educating and preparing young adults for the job market in the hospitality. The proof of commitment was endorsed on Thursday August 28th, by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “The Golden Opportunity Job Program”. The Public Entity of St. Eustatius will contribute with 50 % of the expenses related to the Golden Opportunity Job Program, through financial support from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW). The remaining 50% will be funded by the Golden Rock Estate. The Deputy Government Commissioner further expressed the wish that other companies on St. Eustatius will follow with suitable job programs that will grant Statian youth the opportunity to participate and grow along in the development process of the island.

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