MONTEGO BAY, St James — Close to 200 job seekers converged at Pier 1 in this tourist resort city yesterday in hopes of securing employment.
They were responding to a newspaper ad by Ocho Rios-based tour company Bamboo Beach Club.
One woman to whom the Jamaica Observer spoke said she didn't know which company was recruiting, but came anyway because she badly needed a job. She even asked if the Observer was hiring.
Another young woman, who asked that her name not be used, said it was the second time in two weeks that she was responding to the ad.
"The last time they took our documents but they didn't call or anything and they put back the ad in the paper, so I decided to come again today," she said, explaining that she recently graduated from a tertiary institution with qualifications in hospitality and tourism management, and was therefore eager to snag one of the jobs.
"(The ad) said no experience was necessary and that we were to bring our IDs, TRN and NIS, a passport-size picture and our résumés," she said.
The need for jobs, particularly among the youth population, is an increasing concern across the country as the unemployment figure for that demographic is close to 40 per cent, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica's numbers for the second quarter of 2013.
Among young men, the unemployment figure is 30 per cent, compared to 27 per cent in females, while it stands at 16.3 per cent in the general population.
How much of a dent Bamboo Beach Club will be able to make in the unemployment numbers remains to be seen, but the job seekers are hopeful that the company will make a change in their lives.
When contacted, the company confirmed that it had placed the ad but would not discuss its plans or how many positions it was seeking to fill. A source close to the company, however, disclosed that it is expanding its operations in anticipation of the winter tourist season, hence the need for hostesses to work on tour buses.
"There are a lot of positions," the source said.