BVI News

Programme coming to upskill locals to reduce importing workers

Labour Minister Vincent Wheatley said a programme at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) will be established to further enhance the skills of locals and reduce the need for the importation of labour into the territory.

The initiative comes on the heels of Premier Andrew Fahie’s recent visit to the United Kingdom (UK) for the annual Overseas Territories (OT) Joint Ministerial Council (JMC).

In a report on the visit, Premier Fahie mentioned the need for the implementation of an unemployment scheme.

“We recognise the need for a permanent unemployment scheme to provide a financial and social safety net in the event of a disaster or catastrophic event,” Premier Fahie said. “We would welcome the UK’s technical input on how to implement this for the Virgin Islands.”

In elaborating on the concept, Minister Wheatley said there was a launch several days ago of the ‘Labour and Education Connect’, an initiative which he said will address the issue of skills gaps within the territory.

“We are going to get a lot of activities, I think there will be a survey coming out in a few weeks’ time,” the Labour Minister said. “We’re going to go through all the industries and see, ‘what are we importing in this country, what are the skills we are importing’ and how can we best get our people suited to take up these jobs.”

“So, we’re going to get a programme at the college (HLSCC) to provide the programmes to upskill our people to reduce our need to import certain categories of labour,” the minister said.

He further noted that upcoming labour reform is expected to examine issues such as what is to be done in times of disaster or a pandemic for instance.

“The current laws we have don’t really address some of those things there, and it has caused great challenges and difficulties for many persons in the territory, so these things will be addressed,” the Minister stated.

Meanwhile, the Premier indicated that some of the funding for this initiative is likely to come from climate change revenues which he expected to be forthcoming for the territory.

“The technical training that we’re doing with the unemployment is not just to help get a job, but to help us to look ahead to how to train our people to be entrepreneurs in those areas and also how to be able to direct persons not only to just get certificates in climate change, etc, but also to broaden the horizons of what areas of study they would need to do for the future to be able to take up those jobs that are coming,” the Premier said.


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  1. Great says:

    Will construction be included?
    Laying Tiles

    Like 13
    • First says:

      Before you teach skills you need to teach work ethics. Arriving on time, arriving everyday, work during the day, no telephones, no 2-3 hour lunches, be courteous, no attitudes and last penalties for the above. Until these skills are learned, others aren’t necessary.

      Like 31
      Dislike 2
    • Female Willing to Learn these Skills says:

      I am more than willing to learn the skills mentioned above.

  2. cmonnn says:

    No skills going help people that DO NOT WANT TO WORK and want to pick and choose jobs… that is the main problem here!

    Like 40
    Dislike 4
  3. When .. says:

    .. will they understand there just aren’t enough local people to fill the roles. I commend a government investing in education but please try and understand the fundamentals and what the market needs now and in the future.

    Like 18
    Dislike 1
    • @When says:

      They will never understand because everything is politics. Immigration and work permits are a major part of massive countries around the world but somehow little BVI expect to fill all positions locally. I absolutely agree with ensuring that locals aren’t left behind but there should be a proper balance between reserving certain opportunities vs allowing businesses to be commercial in their hiring and business practices, i.e. giving the BEST person the shot even if it means it won’t be a local.

      Like 10
      Dislike 3
  4. WTF says:

    What a load of BS. They aren’t even running the marine program this semester. It was specifically designed to do exactly this for that industry.

    Like 14
  5. Nonsense says:

    You cannot train ATTITUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Trade areas and hospitality are the most lacking and it boils down to attitude. You can pass all the classes you want but in hospitality in particular, if you do not have the drive and will to SERVE then it’s not for you, that’s why it’s called the ‘service’ industry. This applies to everyone, not just locals.

    Like 11
  6. Struuuupes says:

    Good luck with THAT! The drug trade is far more profitable than working hard in the hospitality business..

    Like 9
    Dislike 3
  7. THE MESSAGES says:

    well a lot good BLOGGIN 👍 , but the messages has to be analized by the right people who is really serious , even if the numbers is low you still got to make a start ( nothing is a 100%

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  8. son of the soil says:

    BVI got some first class doctors abroad and also the best in the hotel industry in the USVI

  9. Disgusted says:

    The negativity against locals is a strategy designed to keep locals down while others progress. A message to the people of the BVI be positive and believe in yourselves. When the devil say no Jesus say yes.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  10. Yeah, yeah, yeah says:

    Here we go with the entrepreneur nonsense. We want to encourage locals to do that but we don’t give them the business skills, we don’t teach them the foundational skills (how to do whatever they are offering to do), we don’t value literacy and numeracy, and they’re not interested in school anyway.

    Two comments stand-out: the first one is about work ethics, or the lack thereof. The second one is about the profitability of the drug trade. Both illustrate the challenges ahead.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  11. WEW says:

    Who’s going to work then ? Don’t even try to tell me belongers

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