NASSAU, BAHAMAS- Since its inception almost two years ago, the Labour on the Blocks initiative has led to the employment of some 1,200 Bahamians in various areas based on their skills and experience, said Director of Labour John Pinder.
The Labour on the Blocks initiative was started shortly after the Minnis-led government took office, to ensure that the Department of Labour had a database with information on the skillsets of unemployed Bahamians.
The new program was designed by the staff of the Public Employment Services Unit (PES) of the Department of Labour.
Pinder, who spoke with Eyewitness News on Monday, said a number of Bahamians have registered with the Department of Labour skills bank, to ensure that they are given a fair opportunity when a position becomes available.
“Some Bahamians were hired on the spot when we held job fairs and the government has a number of initiatives on the drawing board where Bahamians would be able to gain employment,” Pinder said.
Last Saturday, a job fair was held specifically to hire persons at Ocean Club on Paradise Island. The exclusive resort was seeking 100 persons to fill positions in carpentry, plumbing, electrical work and masonry.
Pinder said the five-star hotel was pleased with the number of qualified Bahamians who attended the fair and a number of persons are expected to receive letters of engagement either today or on Wednesday for the listed jobs.
The Labour Director encouraged Bahamians to apply for jobs and to always complete interviews if selected.
Pinder said that sometimes when job postings are placed in the newspaper, they contain a bogus criterion which discourages Bahamians from applying. He also noted that oftentimes the salary being offered is minuscule or persons are led to think that certain positions have already been filled.
“In an effort to make this a little more transparent, we want to ensure that when an advertisement is in the newspaper for a vacancy, we want to ensure that Bahamians can see these advertisements and that the criteria [for the job] is [there],” Pinder said.
Pinder said if an interviewee feels as though an interview was successful but prejudice was shown towards to them, they must voice their concerns to the Labour Department.