Black Immigrant Daily News
Now is the time that the 1,915 workers from The Ministry of Transport, Works, & Water Resources and The Ministry of Housing, Lands and Maintenance who participated in the national clean-up programme need to finish up or sign up for a transition programme to ensure that they can find a new job, once the now-extended Clean-Up programme comes to an end.
To this end, Haigh Communications has been engaged to assist with the transition programme and will work closely with workers, and public and private sector agencies to affect a smooth transition from the training programme.
The recent news that the National Clean-Up programme was ending, sent many of the close to 2,000 participants into a state of worry, but government not offered an olive branch in the form of an amended end date, but the participants have the same length of time, two extra months now to find or perfect a skill at the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB), the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute (SJPI), the Barbados Community College (BCC), as well as the Ministry of Agriculture.
To date, according to a press release, more than seventy-five per cent of the workers from both ministries, have already signed up to enter into the skills training programme to participate in their choice of more than 25 courses under various tertiary institutions and some have already started.
Three courses that have already gotten underway are the Bobcat Operations Course, Electrical Assistant Course and the Skid Steer Loader Operations Course.
Discussions are also underway with private construction companies and other private sector entities to see some participants absorbed there.
The Clean-Up workers were contracted immediately after the ashfall which blanketed the island when the La Soufriere Volcano erupted in April 2021. The contract cost the government approximately $54 million per year. Therefore, the goal of the skills training transition programme is to provide better opportunities for these workers to equip themselves with the knowledge and skills to become more self-sufficient and employable which will allow them to be in a better position to sell their skills back to government and the private sector.