Experienced Kenyan staff here to fill jobs in hospitality

THE first cohort of hospitality staff from Kenya arrived yesterday for Guernsey’s summer season.

There to greet the new arrivals were, left to right, Samperu Ndegwa, Brian Were, Joseck Mwangi and Cathy Wanyoike. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29403725)
There to greet the new arrivals were, left to right, Samperu Ndegwa, Brian Were, Joseck Mwangi and Cathy Wanyoike. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29403725)

The five experienced staff will complete their 14 days of self-isolation before starting work.

All are graduates from Kenya Utalii College in Nairobi, and will spend nine months working under licence for Randalls of Guernsey.

In 2019 a recruitment drive was held in Kenya, with an online portal set up to help Channel Island hospitality industry recruitment, managed by specialist employment solutions company GR8.

‘I am really excited to be welcoming our first group from Kenya to help work in hospitality this season,’ said Cathy Wanyoike, GR8 recruitment executive.

‘They have always proved to be an asset to the visitor and hospitality economy and these talented young people are bringing with them a range of experience, having studied and worked as part of the Kenya Utalii College programme.

‘It will be great to meet them properly once they have completed the mandatory isolation period and can start to familiarise themselves with their roles in Guernsey’s vibrant hospitality establishments.’

Kenya Utalii College is a leading hospitality and tourism training institution in Africa. Utalii is Swahili for tourism.

Lee Madden, GR8 managing director, said: ‘I have been working with Utalii College for a number of years and was lucky enough to visit to see how hard the students work at the faculty.

Since being established 47 years ago, more than 60,000 graduates have been trained at the college from around the world.

‘I have been genuinely impressed with the level of skill displayed by the staff that have come to the Channel Islands and we are proud to have helped make connections between our islands and Kenya.’

Links are being forged with world-class colleges in other countries, such as Rwanda and Bulgaria.

Skills-matching software is run across GR8’s extensive database of quality candidates, he said, to select the best matches for Channel Island roles.

‘With the welcome news that island businesses are re-opening, we are hoping that the industries in both islands will act quickly to take on suitable candidates for the roles that are currently vacant.’

Further staff cohorts are due to arrive in the coming weeks, starting with an additional 10 people from Kenya.

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