People Category Finalist
The heart and soul of St Lucia-based Jus' Sail is epitomised by its one boat - the Good Expectation. She is a handmade Carriacou Sloop, once a feature of all the West Indies, plying rum, sugar and spices between the islands. Like all such vessels, she was built by hand, using simple tools, on the beach. She represents a community's remarkable store of shared knowledge and tradition, and one that is increasingly rare today.
In fact the Good Expectation is the only such locally built wooden trading boat left on the island of St Lucia, and she was lovingly restored by the husband and wife team that owns Jus' Sail. Throughout the long sailing season she gives visitors to this beautiful island the chance to discover its waters as generations have done before.
But this boat also has a more significant role on an island where 50 per cent of the young are unemployed. Jus' Sail may be a tourism company, but it is committed to using its business - and its boat - to provide meaningful skills and employment to the youth of St Lucia. During the off-season summer months, the company runs training programs, providing personal development for unemployed St Lucian youth that hopefully lead to sustainable employment within the yachting sector and wider travel industry. The program aims to fill a skills gap among the young of St Lucia who still have no way of getting formal training to gain access to the island's yachting services - a major driver for its economy.
With just one boat, and because the training it provides is so thorough, Jus' Sail is only able to work with small numbers of individuals each season. However, through the successful placement of its graduates year on year, and through the constant positive feedback from guests who seek out its services on hearing of how it operates, the impact of Jus' Sail is much wider than solely on the men and women it trains. Its success has made it clear to the wider St Lucian tourism industry that even a small business can invest in more than just its own employees' development, and that every company should look to do what it can to ensure a sustainable future for the island.