Citing the many ongoing projects that his Unity Labour Party administration is facilitating either directly using government capital or indirectly in collaboration with the private sector, Prime Minister Gonsalves has claimed that the country may not be able to meet its demand for skilled workers.
“Between the latter part of this year and the first 6 months of next year, we may well experience a big shortage of carpenters and masons and a number of other technical people: plumbers, and electricians and an array of other persons with technical building skills” said Gonsalves who called in to the Issue at Hand radio programme on WEFM last Sunday.
“Because you are having at the same time taking place about $300 million US worth of investment in hotels”.
“We have the private sector with Sandals at Buccament, the Black Sands ongoing, Royal Mill at Ratho Mill ongoing, Soho House, we are doing that in Canouan which is a big name where a lot of young, upwardly mobile professionals are involved in a membership hotel and then of course there is the hotel which the government is involved in, the Holiday Express at Diamond and the Marriot Resort at Mt Wynne”.
“Well if you are thinking about over US $300 million dollars worth of investments, you need a lot of workers and they are going to be ramped up. And I want all the persons involved in technical area to bear this in mind and the young people”.
“There is also this program which we are doing with the British government Department of International Development, the SKYE program dealing with technical skills rolled out over a three year period. It is fantastic program, it is ongoing”.
“Normally, that will get a big hail up but because of COVID you don’t quite hear a lot about it”.
Gonsalves also mentioned that the government is moving at pace with its planned construction of the modern port at Rose Place. The process has already begun to relocate residents of the bay side area of that community to 47 one, two and three bedrooms homes at Lowmans.
That project is estimated to cost some US$180 millions dollars.