NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) is urging construction workers to register with the association’s skills bank as it aims to tackle the gap in the sector.
BCA president Michael Pratt said the association is seeking to help train the local construction workforce by offering various certifications in a partnership with the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).
“We are really urging persons to register their skills with the association,” he said.
“We are tired of people telling us we don’t have adequate workers in this country. I have contacted the Labour Department and told them when they come to you come looking for someone come to us because we are going to have the information to say if that person is available because we are going to start start tracking these persons.”
Pratt said: “We are also going to train them and keep them in our database.
“We have to stand firm and strong and make sure that we change our training model to fill the skills gap in our country.”
Financial Services, Trade and Industry and Immigration Minister Elsworth Johnson said earlier this week that foreign labour will be necessary to facilitate the pace of post Dorian reconstruction alongside a number of major developments.
Johnson told reporters ahead of a Cabinet meeting that the country is experiencing a construction ‘boom’.
“In terms of immigration and persons being allowed in there is a policy that governs that,” he said.
“We only want fit and proper persons to be allowed in. There is a due diligence we go through to see whether or not we have the necessary skills sets to do the work.”
Johnson was referencing the Bakers Bay development which confirmed to Eyewitness News last week that it was bringing in 130 Mexican workers to help with the reconstruction efforts.
“In the initial phase I know that they are bringing in their technocrats to see how they can rebuild the facility,” Johnson continued.
“They have said to us that in a year to a year and a half they can have Bakers Bay up and running. Whether we believe it or not we are in a construction boom.”