The Labour Department is now officially operating under a new name with a new focus, Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley has said.
The new name – the Department of Labour and Workforce Development – was officially changed during a ceremony at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on Friday.
“This name change is set up with the hope of changing the lens through which the department is viewed. We want a message of hope to the future generations of Virgin Islanders, Belonger’s and residents of this territory with this name change,” Wheatley said.
The Labour Minister also said changing the mindset of locals, particularly youths, is among the department’s renewed objects.
Wheatley said the department further hopes to ‘awaken the spirit of patriotism and hard work’ in locals “so that they can develop positive attitudes in knowing their self-development may eventually lead to a Virgin Islander or Belonger being part of the territory’s workforce development”.
“[This] which can lead to a fulfilling and rewarding experience,” the minister said.
He added that transforming the department includes creating linkages with educational institutions and employers to develop curriculum that addresses workforce deficiencies and create job opportunities, empowering and utilizing the Workforce Development Unit as a catalyst to develop and fuel the new vision for workforce development.
“Let me reiterate, it is more than just words, it is also action to this name. It is a refocus on developing our workforce,” he said.
Embrace the name, changes
In the meantime, Deputy Premier Kye Rymer who also delivered remarks at the event said he wants persons to entirely embrace the new name.
“It is hoped that when the new name of the Department of Labour and Workforce Development is said, it will engender in all of us a positive mental image based on the work of a motivated staff whose output represents the true nature of this extremely beneficial department,” Rymer stated.
The Deputy Premier added that the name change is “a truer and more accurate reflection of the services including mitigating labour disputes, streamlining the work permit processing, and the strict implementation of the updated labour code which locals and alike can make use of from this department.”
To complement the change, the staff of the department was dressed in new uniforms at Friday’s ceremony.
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