Local employment market expanding

Senator Dion Foulkes.

Labour Minister Dion Foulkes recently revealed to Eyewitness News that the local employment market is ripe and that Bahamians are set to benefit from a myriad of employment opportunities opening up in the hospitality industry.

Foulkes’ comments came during the Department of Labour’s eighth installment of its Labour on the Blocks initiative.

“We have requests from business houses every day, so we know the economy is heating up and the tourism figures are off the charts. We can feel it in terms of the requests that are being made to the department of labor, and so there are many opportunities now available for Bahamians to seek employment,” he noted.

Foulkes confirmed that the openings are positions which can be filled by Bahamians.

“Most definitely these openings can be filled by Bahamians. We have a good pool of skilled Bahamians who can fill these jobs” Foulkes affirmed.

The Department of Labour, in conjunction with the National Training Agency (NTA) and the Ministry of National Security recently launched a training programme which seeks to train approximately 250 young Bahamians for the workforce – namely hospitality and retail fields.

The programme, which is spearheaded by the Ministry of National Security’s Citizen’s Security Justice Programme launched on October 22.

The program has attracted hundreds of interested applicants, Foulkes confirmed.

“It is going extremely well so far. We just completed an interview process for over 200 applicants on October 22, and that program starts October 29,” he said.

“Then there is another program, the Skills Program, which is in its formulation stage. In the end, it is supposed to accommodate some 5, 000 persons over the period of five years.”

Foulkes admitted that unemployment among young Bahamians is still high, but he challenged Bahamian youth to take advantage of the skills training initiatives and employment fairs being spearheaded by the government, to transition themselves from unemployment to being employed.