Leader of the Opposition Andrew Fahie has urged the minister responsible for youth affairs, Myron Walwyn, to spend a portion of his budgetary allocation on the provision of on-the-job training for young people interested in the construction industry.
Fahie said the housing project being funded by the government-owned Social Security Board presents a grand opportunity for such training.
Walwyn recently bragged that, for this year, he has been allotted $250,000 to spend on youth employment throughout the Territory.
In light of that, the Opposition leader said a portion of the allocation could be spent to have young people assigned to the housing project, because the project contractor may not be able to foot the cost of on-the-job training for the youth.
“It’s a grand opportunity when those homes are building to bring on the young people – by the four, five, and even by the 10, and use some of the money there under the youth programme to help finance them; to help pay for their salaries so that the contractor who would have already given his bid won’t have to take the full [cost] of that,” the Opposition leader explained.
He continued: “That’s the way we have to grow this community… Maybe six [or] seven months, with the experience they gonna leave from there with, and they keep doing that, it’s gonna help.”
Government broke grounds last month for the first phase of the housing programme. Under this phase, a total of 53 residential units will be built on seven acres of land in the Joe’s Hill and Long Bush area of Tortola. The revised cost for the first phase is $14 million.