The Caribbean Netherlands Customs Department is seeking three new officers from Saba to increase diversity within the organization. One of the main bones of contention since Saba became a public entity of the Netherlands, is that high-paying jobs in Government departments such with Customs, the Police and Fire Department are primarily taken by outsourced employees from elsewhere.
One of the requirements to obtain a job at the Customs Department is having Dutch-level certifications starting from MBO 2. Dutch courses on the island have been booming in the past few years due to Sabans wanting to increase their chances of getting a job within Government Departments.
Sabans arr mainly English-speaking and local schools have English as the language of instruction. Dutch courses at different levels are on offer at Saba Reach Foundation and are accredited by the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization and the University of the Dutch Caribbean in Curacao. Saba Reach achieves an increasingly steady graduation rate of approximately 20 students each year.
An information session was organized by Customs with 17 eager job seekers in attendance. “On Saba, there are no scan machines or search dogs. So, we are looking for three candidates who display qualities such as a strong attitude, being investigative and curious, having integrity, and being passionate about this job,” said Managing Director of Customs and Taxes Nichalin Martina.
Proficiency in Dutch was not a problem with the audience. “I would give my level of Dutch a rating of seven out of 10,” construction freelancer Luis Harrigan told web-based news outlet Caribbean Network. “The meeting was informative, however, I was expecting more young persons in the community to attend as this is a great opportunity,” Harrigan said.
Once the selection has been completed, the Customs trainees will train and study for approximately six months to a year, with a paid compensation including accommodation and tickets. Persons who do not immediately graduate after training will be given a second chance. Due to Saba’s family-like and small community of about 2,000 persons, interviewers will be looking for someone who will be strict and honest.
“Drug smugglers are getting more creative ideas and the new Customs Officers must be assertive and possess skills in questioning,” said Martina.
The Daily Herald.