2,000 Kenyans are set to be hired by Royal Caribbean Cruise ships. This is after the State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs sealed a deal with the Italian-owned Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
Those set to get the jobs are required to have qualifications around the hospitality field. This means that the open opportunities for cooks, kitchen utility staff, baristas, waiters, pastry chefs, lifeguards, guest relations agents, animators and marine staff.
The programme, according to Shipping and Maritime Principal secretary Nancy Karigithu, will be happening periodically.
Mahendra Seepaul, the managing director of CSCS International-Mauritius and the hiring partner for both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, said that they have identified Kenya as ideal hospitality and maritime job market.
“We are already recruiting in Madagascar, South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Rwanda. We have seen the calibre of staff you have here and want to make Kenya the hub of our African recruitment process,” Seepaul said.
Already, interviews have been conducted at the Boma Hotel Nairobi, Kenya Utalii College, Nairobi and Bandari Maritime Academy in Mombasa.
“My priority in coming to Kenya is to give jobs to deserving and jobless youth and those with a background in the hospitality industry,” he said.
The Oceans and Blue Economy Office Head General (Rtd) Samsom Mwathethe welcomed the move to hire more Kenyans to work aboard cruise liners.
“The nature of your works entails lots of travel. We urge you to be our good ambassadors and help keep the Kenyan flag high at all times,” he said.
“It is our hope that Kenyans in the hospitality industry can retool themselves and apply for these jobs that come with better remuneration.”
This is the second government-arranged foreign employment program. The government is currently running a program with the United Kingdom to have jobless Kenyan nurses get jobs in the UK.