Why Companies in UK Tax Haven Are Rushing to Hire Kenyans

  • Planes landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
    Planes landing at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
  • Many Kenyans are now securing jobs in the tax haven countries along the UK coastline following a slow down in Kenya's Tourism sector.

    Reports indicate that over 100 people have been hired to fill several posts in companies since April 2021 when the first cohort touched down in the Channel Islands.

    The companies have also expressed interest to hire more workers as the countries experience a severe shortage of hotel staff.

    Most of the employees have been recruited by the employment company GR8 Recruitment through several training institutions in Kenya including Utalii College.

    Some of the Kenyans who arrived in the Channel Islands in April 2021.
    Some of the Kenyans who arrived in the Channel Islands in April 2021.

    The first cohort of 5 who travelled abroad was reported to be graduates of the College based in Nairobi. 

    Speaking to the press, GR8 founder Lee Madden explained that the employee shortage in colleges strewn across the Island was caused by various factors including the pandemic as well as Brexit.

    The jobs filled include chefs, kitchen porters, housekeeping staff, front of house staff, bartenders among others.

    "Across the islands and the UK we’ve not got enough interest, talent or people who want to work in the industry for many reasons, including Brexit.

    "We thought the best route would be to recruit globally qualified, professional and dedicated hospitality staff," Madden told BBC Radio Guernsey.

    All the 108 individuals were linked to companies in the islands through Madden's company with belief that several others could have been secured through different recruiters.

    According to GR8, some Kenyans in the Channel Islands have displayed exemplary work and have already begun climbing up the ladder.

    For instance, Nelson Ojiero was promoted to the position of Chef de Rang from his previous role as Demi Chef de Rang in October 2021 a few months after placement.

    "After only a few months working at one of Jersey's top Hotels, he has shown dedication, passion for his craft and what it means to work hard.

    "Well done Nelson, you have made GR8, your employer and Kenya hugely proud," GR8 congratulated him.

    A Facebook Group dubbed GR8 Kenyan Family Channel Islands was also created to update on events and the life of Kenyans in the UK. 

    "Please keep looking at this page which is used as a place to keep you updated about new arrivals from Kenya, upcoming events and anything else that will make your time working in the Channel Islands easier and other possible opportunities or offers of additional work," GR8 stated. 

    This comes as Kenya continues to record sluggish improvement in its Tourism sector with revenue rising from Ksh88 billion earnings in 2020 to Ksh46.5 billion in 2021.

    At the peak of the pandemic in September 2020, more than 2.5 million people working in Tourism lost their sources of livelihood following the global grounding of air travel.

    Channel Islands are a cluster of independent countries located in the English Channel off the French Coast and they include the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey. They have a combined population of 170,000 people.

    Nelson Ojiero (left) toasts with a guest in the Channel Islands in October 2021,
    Nelson Ojiero (left) toasts with a guest in the Channel Islands in October 2021,
    GR8 Recruitment