With work started on three community projects, the Keith Mitchell-led administration in St. George’s has said that it is still determined to bring employment to the rural communities.
Minister of Culture, Senator Brenda Hood, underscored this point at the weekly post-Cabinet Press Briefing at the Ministerial Complex.
She told reporters that government is conscious of the fact that employment of the people is critical and that employment opportunities must be created.
According to Sen. Hood, the Holy Cross RC School in St Andrew, which is a project that has been on stream for a while, is up for refurbishment.
She said the cost of the project is $5,759,815.25 and will be done over a 12-18 month period.
She also mentioned the planned expansion and upgrade of the Gouyave Day Care Centre that government is hoping will create some employment for people in the area.
The contract has been awarded to Michael Mark and the work will take place over 6 months at a cost of $484,126.20.
This project is funded by the Basic Need Trust Fund (BNTF).
Government is also hopeful that another BNTF-funded project – Vincennes Pre-School will provide additional employment opportunities.
Crystal Engineering will do this project, according to Sen. Hood at a cost of $875,049.50 and lasting 9 months.
She noted that government, through the Ministry of Works, has engaged the contractors to ensure that people within the different communities gain employment under those projects.
“Wherever jobs are being done, they should engage the people in the community so that persons in the community can get employment if they are qualified and if they are interested because as you know there are people who perhaps are unemployed but maybe they do not want that kind of job”, she said.
“…It is not fair that I am unemployed and I see people coming from all over the island in my community working and I am unemployed…we need to hire some of them”, she added.
However, she was quick to point out that some persons in the local community might not get a job because of lack of skills.
She said: ‘…Depending on the job, if it’s technical, persons in the community may not have the skills to do it but it is important that the people who are qualified and are interested are engaged for this project”.
Government is hopeful that the identified projects will begin within a few weeks.