A select group of business owners – all with businesses based in Southampton, were urged to stay ahead of the game by preparing for the new employment opportunities in Bermuda’s hospitality industry.
Speaking at the Southampton Parish Council’s annual Business Breakfast held this month at Henry VII, Tourism Minister Zane DeSilva said: “We are going to need a lot of people with next 18 to 22 months to work at new hotels coming on line.
“We’re going to need 400 to 500 people so what we’re going to do and you will see very soon is an emphasis to try and lure our people back into the hospitality business.
“They can’t only just come in, they have to go up and there’s nothing wrong with making it a career.”
The Government is working closely with the Department of Workforce Development to ensure that Bermudians benefit from new employment opportunities in the hospitality industry, he added.
The St Regis Hotel in St George’s is set to open in July 2020, there’s plans in the pipeline at Southampton Princess, and the Minister was hopeful there would be movement at Morgan’s Point in the not too distant future.
The Southampton Parish Council headed up by Chairperson Stacey-Lee Williams, Corey Butterfield, Secretary and members, including veteran cricketer, coach and taxi ambassador John Tucker.
Former council member Craig Simons was the MC for the Business Breakfast. We will have more on the keynote address in subsequent report.
Mr Butterfield said the council “is especially proud of the Parish’s business owners, as they have made Southampton one of the most service-friendly, and most desirable Parish in which to live”.
“Our parish has the widest selection of hotels, the most iconic beaches, and two of the most popular golf courses on the Island.”
He noted that businesses include “doctor’s offices, grocery stores, in-home massage therapists, four gardens and three commercial farmers; nearly a dozen restaurants and four Seniors’ Residences”.
“Between the businesses at Well Bottom and Industrial Park Road (SAL), you could build, renovate or furnish your home!
“We THANK all of the owners for the diversity and commerce that has kept Southampton of the Bermuda’s most prominent parishes for 400 years; and we wish them all prosperity and success!”
Overall, he said the council’s business breakfast this year “was far more impactful; and therefore, more successful”.
“More owners stayed afterwards talking, exchanging business cards, networking, and just getting to know each other’s business…for Council that was six runs!”
“Given the positive feedback we have received, we should do them annually. Council is met last night for the first time since and we discussed holding them annually; watch this space,” he added.
Ms Williams, who became Chairperson in 2016, wanted to enhance the relationship between Council and Southampton’s residents and business owners.