(Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News)
Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie will be putting teeth to the phrase "BVIslanders and Belongers preferred", following the completion of two proposed employment training initiatives that are pending roll out in August.
The Premier in recalling that his Government promised jobs for Virgin Islanders on the campaign trail, said that the 1000 jobs in 1000 days initiative is still in the pipeline, and so is the Return to the Sea initiative geared at training locals to enter the marine industry.
In fact, Hon. Fahie announced on Sunday, July 14 that following the initiatives, Labour will have to defend decision to approve work permits for certain jobs.
While speaking at the consultation on the Consumer Protection Legislation in Jost Van Dyke on Sunday, the Premier stated that both of the employment initiatives were set for launch over the past months, but were pulled because of public feedback.
As it relates to the 1000 jobs programme, the Premier said, "We actually went to launch the 1000 jobs in 1000 days and we found out there were some areas by the public. We needed to return and refine so we actually pulled that back, so after the festival we will be launching that for sure."
In his update on the Return to the Sea programme, Hon. Fahie said, "We were going to launch that, we pulled it back, got the views of the people and that would be launching after festival also. Where every single district we will be registering young people between the ages of 18 and 35 who are interested in being trained in the marine sector and to get their STCW and all the other qualifications to become a captain and all the other areas in the marine sector."
In noting that following training there will be an expectation of local placement, the Premier announced, "We are working with the Labour Department to make sure that once persons put in work permit for those areas, then the trained persons that we have that list has to be exhausted."