In the roll-out of the Virgin Islands Party’s (VIP) manifesto on Tuesday, party chairman Andrew Fahie has promised to create 1,000 in his first 1,000 days if the VIP is elected as the next government of the Virgin Islands.
Fahie described his projection of 1,000 jobs as a minimum, adding that he is optimistic the VIP will achieve more given what he said were the party’s ‘bold policies’ and ‘encouragement of small business development’.
He said the VIP is proposing a small business development programme which he believes will create roughly 100 jobs within the first three years of its implementation.
“We hope to influence the establishment of a minimum of 20 small businesses each employing a minimum of five people,” he explained.
“These small business jobs will be created primarily in agriculture, fishing, IT services, beauty supply services, health and fitness services, entertainment services, and sports,” Fahie added.
The VIP chairman, however, said he expects the majority of the 1,000 promised jobs to be created from the construction industry.
“Under a VIP government, we estimate that our policies will ensure 400 additional jobs in that sector within the next three years. This includes a major multimillion project to repair the territory’s sewer systems that will, at its peak, employ over 100 persons,” Fahie said.
‘Quick but meaningful’ skills training for youth to get jobs
He added that a fraction of the 1,000 promised jobs will be created through a short and medium-term programme the VIP will implement for local youth.
He said the programme will select 50 young persons and train them as skilled workers in the quickest time possible.
“The skilled area is a huge area with growth potential and income earning potential. This time around we will ensure that our people are prepared for the progress to come. We will also put an emphasis on security and we will seek to properly fund the police force and hire new officers. For the jobs in the wider community to be created and maintained, businesses must operate in a secure environment,” Fahie said.
The VIP chairman also indicated that his party is embarking on attracting what he said was a new five-star property to the territory. This unnamed property “will create 300 jobs during construction and when it is completed [another] 250 between full-timers and part-timers”, Fahie said.
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