More than 1,000 jobseekers have secured gainful employment through Labor on the Blocks initiative, according to Labour Minister Dion Foulkes.
The minister said the last initiative saw nearly 600 people registered for jobs.
Foulkes, who spoke with Eyewitness News on Saturday said, it is a myth that Bahamians do not want to work.
He admitted however, that there is a shortage of Bahamians willing to work in some fields such as “gardening and housekeeping”.
“It isn’t that people do not want to work, it’s just that the type of economy that we have and the type of status that we have with the rest of the world, Bahamians want a better job,” he said.
“The average Bahamian doesn’t want to work for minimum wage and I don’t blame them. They want a nice paying job so they can support their families. And if you compare our country to the rest of the world. So, most of the companies we have here pay way above minimum wage.
“A landscape company that is here, for example, does all the landscaping on Paradise Island. They have already employed 60 Bahamians as a result of the four job fairs they have attended. So, hopefully where ever the jobs are, I am hoping that job seekers will take advantage of them.”
Member of Parliament (MP) for Centreville Reece Chipman said, the event is a “blessing” for his constituents – many of whom have not worked “in a very long time”.
“We have a huge unemployment rate in Centreville,” he said.
“[We] pretty much [have] more unemployment with the females than with the males, so bringing this into the community is something that I think is very good.
“It’s a good idea, it is working, we have heard of positive results from the other ones and so, we will be monitoring it and looking to see if our people benefit from it. A lot of people from this community are taking advantage of the opportunity so it’s a really good thing.”
The next event will be held in Eastern New Providence.
The Department of Labour said it hopes all jobseekers in The Bahamas or abroad, and employers with vacancies will register in the Department’s recruitment database: www.jobseekers.bahamas.gov.bs.
If you are or know someone who is interested in Labour on the Blocks job fairs, you are asked to bring a National Insurance Board (NIB) card and another valid government-issued ID such as a passport or voter’s card.