More than 100 Kenyans work in hospitality jobs in the Channel Islands

More than 100 people from Kenya have come to work in the Channel Islands in the past 10 months, according to a recruitment firm.

They are filling staffing gaps during a difficult time for the hospitality industry, recruitment firm GR8 said.

Lee Madden, founder of GR8, said a lack of interest in hospitality jobs in the Channel Islands had prompted the overseas recruitment drive.

The company worked with the Bukura Agricultural College in Nairobi, Kenya, to hire chefs, kitchen porters, housekeeping staff, reception staff, bar staff and waiters.

Grace Ashenga, from Nairobi, works at the Duke of Normandy Hotel in Guernsey.

She said: “My life has changed, I’m not where I was before and I’ve made great progress and I’m proud of myself.

“My mom is really proud of me because of the changes I’ve made.”

Ms Ashenga worked with the Duke of Normandy’s housekeeping team from April for nine months before returning to Kenya and is expected to return to work in Guernsey over the Easter period.

Mr Madden told BBC Radio Guernsey: “Across the islands and in the UK we don’t have enough interest, talent or people who want to work in the industry for many reasons including Brexit.

“We had to find a solution to the recruitment problem.

“We thought the best course would be to recruit globally to provide qualified, professional and dedicated hospitality staff to provide our industry with the personnel it needs.”

His recruitment firm found internships for 108 Kenyans in the Channel Islands.

He said 37 others have been offered jobs and are going through the visa process before coming to the islands to start their new roles.

About Bradley J. Bridges

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