Sal: Entrepreneurs fear that the flight of manpower to the Algarve will jeopardize high season

Sal: Entrepreneurs fear that the flight of manpower to the Algarve will jeopardize high season
Sal: Entrepreneurs fear that the flight of manpower to the Algarve will jeopardize high season

Africa-Press – Cape verde. The Cape Verde Business Association, based in Sal, says that it sees with “great apprehension” the intention of those responsible for tourism in the Algarve to recruit 5,000 jobs, especially Cape Verdeans, to respond to the urgent need for manpower in that region. region. The association fears the flight of the best trained staff in the sector, which, if it happens, could jeopardize the peak season of national tourism.

In a statement sent to our newsroom, signed by President Andrea Bonelli, the Cape Verde Business Association says it does not see any advantages in the model of recruiting national labor in the tourism sector to meet the urgency of human resources in the Algarve region, Portugal.

“In fact, the search for personnel by the Algarve tour operators focused on two African countries (Cape Verde and Morocco) seeks the best value for money, and the possibility of drawing resources trained abroad with the facilitation of the public institutions themselves and without value, seems to be a win-lose”, begins by warning Benolli.

Red carpet

The same recalls that, for this, the Government of Cape Verde “also agreed with the Portuguese Government, special procedures to obtain a visa quickly and without too much bureaucracy”, which, in the association’s view, is “a red carpet”, which will allow foreign tour operators to “reach, choose, buy and export” the know-how of local officials.

This businessman recalls that the Government itself invested, along with cooperation, and “indebted” the country to resort to funds from the World Bank and other international organizations, “to finance investment in infrastructure and training programs for young people (men and women). ) Cape Verdeans, so that they can obtain a professional qualification and even have a Professional Card that certifies technical competence and gives access to the job market”.

These resources are welcomed by Cape Verdean companies “in their staff”, and which, he explains, “invest in refining the training base and increasing the level of professionalism and experience in good practices and certified environments”.

The need for manpower in the sector is increasing in the country

In 2019, the association recalls, there were 9,050 employees in the hotel industry, with hotels accounting for 85.2% of this total, and nationals representing 92.7% of the workforce. Still, 77% of these worked on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista and 58.8% are women.

Furthermore, the association warns that it is necessary to take into account that the country’s needs in terms of resources in the sector “are increasing”, given the recent opening of more hotels, such as, for example, in the city of Mindelo.

“Our training system is unable to train 2,500 new employees in a short time and the high season is almost here”, he warns.

In this context, the association warns that in the face of a “growing need” for trained and experienced labor, “it will be even more important to offer a level of quality capable of competing at an international level”.

However, given what it says is a “campaign promoted by our government” to allow Portuguese operators to “acquire just 2,500 workers out of the 5,000 needed, it will be a total disaster for us!”.

High season “quality” at risk

This association also advances that if companies in the tourism sector are not able to “fill in a short time” the “predictable” lack of trained personnel, the investments planned for the high season will be at risk.

“Not so much in terms of quantity, but in terms of quality, with repercussions on the image of the tourist destination and with probable consequences for sales in the 2023/2024 season”.

In the statement, Bonelli admits that there is a quick alternative that will make it possible to fill the foreseeable gap in trained personnel, which will be created at the beginning of the high season, that is, to do the same as in the Algarve region.

“The quickest solution is to do the same as the Algarve tour operators, that is, identify the countries on the African continent from which to resort, taking advantage of the facilitations in terms of mobility for citizens belonging to the ECOWAS and PALOP countries”.

The association recalls that we are in a global market and our tourist destination must “compete with giants very close to us”, both in terms of climate and in terms of the quality/price ratio.

The private sector will pay the price

In this context, he reminds government officials that the private sector “is the only one currently capable of keeping Cape Verde at the center of a reference tourist scenario”, especially for the winter season.

“The private sector can, therefore, do its part, but cannot go beyond its own limits of competence”, he explains.

Cabo Verde Empresas concludes that by colluding with this ongoing recruitment, by “opening the doors of the chicken coop”, “it will not bring any gift to the breeder, but certainly a loss in terms of know-how whose price, once again, will have to be paid for by the private sector!”.

As he explains, they also want to be heard in decision-making, because companies “cannot just be called upon to pay taxes and train their employees, invest and create jobs”.

Negotiate Offsets

Benolli warns that Algarve tour operators will choose “the best”, that is, those already trained and, therefore, already hired by Cape Verdean companies, so this interest must be counterbalanced with the establishment of a commercial agreement that creates a link.

“For each trained worker it is also necessary to hire and train unemployed Cape Verdean youths in Portugal”, he suggests.

In addition, he says, it is necessary to negotiate “compensations” for national operators and guarantee the continuity of labor rights and social security.

“This could have been a right and negotiated solution to solve the problems of the Algarve and, at the same time, reduce unemployment in Cape Verde, without affecting private sector investments in Cape Verde”, he concluded.

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