Two Tortola-based construction companies that were recently contracted to execute three public projects on Virgin Gorda have agreed to provide jobs to as many residents of the sister island as possible, throughout the life of those projects.
Quality Construction and Metro Construction made this verbal agreement with Representative of the Ninth District where Virgin Gorda is located, Vincent Wheatley.
Wheatley, who is also Minister of Labour, told BVI News he was the one to approach the two companies with the proposal.
“I told them, ‘look, there is lots of unemployment in Virgin Gorda. You are Tortola companies [but] instead of bringing all your crew over to Virgin Gorda, leave some of your guys on Tortola and hire Virgin Gorda contractors or labourers’. Bringing workers from Tortola, you know there’s a cost to that, so to minimize the costs, use workers from Virgin Gorda who are currently unemployed,” he said.
“So we had an agreement, and they are going to try their best to hire as much Virgin Gordians as possible or practical,” he added.
Metro Construction is contracted to reconstruct the Flax Administration Building, while Quality Construction is contracted to completely rebuild the John E George Building in North Sound and two school blocks at the Bregado Flax Educational Centre.
Individuals, companies can apply
The Ninth District Representative said interested persons or companies would have to apply and be interviewed for the jobs.
In the case of the companies that specialize in a particular area and may already have their crew, Wheatley said: “They (Metro Construction and Quality Construction) could subcontract the companies or hire labourers. But there is a process to go through, which is the interview process.”
The district representative, in the meantime, said he is still assessing the level of unemployment on the island since the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused multiple job losses.
“I don’t have a full understanding yet because after my speech [about coronavirus-related layoffs and terminations on Sunday, quite a few companies have sent in their information and I decided that I will collate the information on Friday and Monday,” he explained.