Representative for the Second District, Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull is urging the government to consider hiring residents of Jost Van Dyke to staff the new multi-usage facility at the sister island’s Dog Hole Jetty.
Turnbull’s appeal came during Monday’s opening ceremony of the new building that will house five government agencies and will officially become operational on January 15.
He said: “I want to continue to not just push for things to happen on Jost Van Dyke but I believe it is also equally important that when work happens or when projects are happening on Jost Van Dyke that we not forget the people of Jost Van Dyke.”
“Nowhere else in the BVI can someone from Jost Van Dyke qualify and or get a job to do in Tortola, in Virgin Gorda or in Anegada. So I am going to say it colloquially; ‘when work comes on Jost Van Dyke, ensure that the people of Jost Van Dyke, they are able and qualified contractors, make sure that they are the ones getting the work to do because they can help to build their islands and build their territory’,” he added.
People from JVD should be prioritised
In response, Territorial At Large Representative Neville Smith agreed with the stance taken by Turnbull. He said he believes persons from other islands should not be brought to Jost Van Dyke if qualified individuals exist on that island.
“It’s your building and you can come and stay here and do what you have to get done and more Jost Van Dyke people would be able to work in the facility,” Smith stated.
He added: “We don’t want to bring people from Tortola to work in these departments. It should be people from Jost Van Dyke. So once we create more work over here, it means more people over here will get work.”
The building will house agencies such as Her Majesty’s Customs, Immigration, BVI Ports Authority, the BVI Tourist Board, BVI Electricity Corporation, the Water & Sewerage Department and local vendors.
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