Job fairs create 900 New Providence jobs

By NATARIO McKENZIE

Tribune Business Reporter

nmckenzie@tribunemedia.net

ALMOST 900 persons on New Providence have gained jobs through the Labour Department's 'Labour on the Blocks' employment fairs, its top official revealed yesterday.

Robert Farquharson, director of labour, said: "The 'Labour on the Blocks' events have been extremely successful. To-date we have employed almost 900 persons in New Providence. The numbers in Grand Bahama are still coming in, but we can say that a number of persons in Grand Bahama were employed."

He added that with a number of investment projects proposed for Grand Bahama, the Department of Labour will host additional jobs fairs on that island.

"We look forward to working with all of our stakeholders and employers to making this upcoming 'Labour on the Blocks' a successful one," said Mr Farquharson. The next 'Labour on the Blocks' job fair is slated for March 24 on Windsor Park.

"We have confirmation from a significant number of employers who will be there," he added.

The 'Labour on the Blocks' job recruitment and registration drive was launched in January in the Bain and Grants Town area. The initiative targets job seekers who may have given up on finding work, or may not understand the avenues they should take to secure employment. 'Labour on the Blocks' will be hosted in a different community every month this year.

The Department of Labour, meanwhile, is staging several job fairs to find recruits for the Mediterranean Shipping Company's (MSC) private cruise port on Ocean Cay near Bimini. The first event will be held at its New Providence headquarters on Wednesday, with two others planned for Thursday and Friday on Grand Bahama.

"We want to encourage job seekers who are seeking employment to come to the Department of Labour on Wednesday between the hours of 11am and 4pm and sign up to be interviewed for the jobs," said Mr Farquharson.

"It is my understanding that they have the go-ahead to begin construction, and so they will be looking to fill positions immediately. The aim of the Department of Labour is to provide job opportunities for unemployed Bahamians, and we believe that this is an excellent opportunity for Bahamians who are unemployed and have the skills in the construction industry to be employed on an impressive development."

Mr Farquharson said MSC is also offering employees room and board, three meals a day and transportation to and from Ocean Cay. The Government and MSC signed a Heads of Agreement in December 2015 to transform Ocean Cay for the construction of its $100 million cruise port.

Sandy Cay Development Company surrendered the 25-year lease they held for sand and aragonite mining on Ocean Cay to the Government as part of the deal. The proposed cruise port is supposed to bring an extra 465,000 cruise passengers to the Bahamas annually.