Premier Andrew Fahie is assuring locals that his government’s ‘1,000 jobs in 1,000 days’ initiative is not a political stunt.
The Premier made that statement at the official launch of the initiative on Wednesday, August 21.
“As I look around and meditate, I get the feeling that some of you feel that this is another political gimmick and that you’ll not get your hands on a job and that this is just a fanfare. But I want to assure you that this will not be a show,” the Premier said.
To ensure a close eye is kept on the progression of the programme, the Premier said he will be giving his Deputy Secretary, Geraldine Ritter-Freeman, oversight of the initiative.
“I told her: this assignment with Labour and Immigration — I’m assigning full-time to you for a weekly report because we are extremely serious about making sure that each and every Virgin Islander/Belonger that is not working, that has a passion and desire to work, to improve themselves get that opportunity,” Premier Fahie said.
Fahie, who is also the Minister of Finance, is also urging all public servants and business owners to take the initiative personally since the goal is to ensure the British Virgin Islands has a prosperous future.
Programme for underemployed persons too
The Premier said the programme also has opportunities for BVIslanders who are underemployed.
He stated: “There are Virgin Islanders who are not in jobs that match or suit their qualifications. Some are in the fields that are different than what they are qualified in. I want to ensure that such persons come forward and register under this programme because there is a possibility that … we will be able to help you get into a role that is more applicable to you.”
Minister responsible for Labour, Vincent Wheatley, also addressed the issue of underemployment as it relates to the initiative, stating: “This is just not about sticking persons into vacant spaces, it is about matching talent, it’s about helping to match individuals with sustainable and meaningful opportunities.”
Meanwhile, the ‘1,000 jobs in 1,000 days’ initiative, which was originally part of the VIP’s election manifesto, saw a great turnout of interested jobseekers.
Following the ceremony, persons were seen assembling in queues outside of the Central Administration Complex building in Road town to collect, fill and submit application forms.
Employers were reportedly also inside the building conducting on-the-spot interviews for potential employees.
The initiative was initially set to be launched in May 2019 but was postponed until August.
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