Gov’t budget covers more training and employment opportunities

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Gov’t budget covers more training and employment opportunities

PRESS RELEASE – The Government of Saint Lucia has announced a $3-million “Cruise Sector Training and Employment Programme” to provide access to funding for approximately 550 young Saint Lucians seeking employment in the cruise sector.

This programme is an expansion of a $400,000 pilot version which was introduced under the NICE Programme in the last fiscal year.

Over the past year, approximately 229 unemployed Saint Lucians got job offers, 35 percent of which, benefited from the pilot financing facility set up with the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB). As such, the Government of Saint Lucia has partnered with a training institute, a cruise line and the SLDB, to expand the facility and provide more opportunities to unemployed youth. This year, three million dollars will be obtained from the National Insurance Corporation for on-lending to prospective employees through the SLDB.

In his 2014/2015 budget statement, Prime Minister Dr. Kenny D. Anthony announced,

“Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that the many cruise ships that we see berthing at our ports each week employ thousands with well-paying jobs. However, the problem has always been with the inability of Saint Lucians to access these jobs because of the costs associated with meeting the requisite qualifications and other requirements,” he said.

“We know all too well the unsuccessful, costly attempts made by government in the past to provide support to local candidates to access these jobs. However, through NICE, the Government of Saint Lucia launched a pilot programme valued at $400,000 during the past fiscal period to assist unemployed youth between the ages 19 and 35 years to access this employment.

“Unlike other similar initiatives in the past, this pilot programme has been carefully designed in conjunction with a training institution, a cruise line and the Saint Lucia Development Bank. The programme is specifically targeted for non-utility job opportunities within the Cruise Sector. With these types of jobs, Mr. Speaker, successful candidates can earn as much as, and in some cases, in excess of US$3,000 per month,” Anthony explained.

Mindful of the unfortunate tradition of delinquency in servicing education and training loans, the government will introduce stringent repayment conditions to ensure that these loans are repaid within a six-month period, to allow for the continuation of the programme.

More financing agencies have expressed interest in developing similar facilities. Information on this opportunity will be made public once the details have been finalised.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Every budget has covered more training and employment opportunities. I have not seen one report which has focussed on what are the real benefits to the people as against the sacrifices that they have to endure. Everything that a politician promises is like food falling from the sky. We know that in Accounts and economics that there is debit and it goes with a corresponding credit. All what the government does is shift around the burden. That burden is usually placed around the necks of the poor where they have to toil with their blood while the rich get huge tax breaks and incentives in the false name of creation of imployment for the same poor. In fact it is more of a revenue generation for the rich than it is of any advantage to the poor.

    Real growth is the incoporation of investments from outside the country. This can be explained simply for a shop which buys from itself cannot make a profit. This investments will grow the confidence of banks who will afford the country cheaper credit to grow their investsments. Right now banks would not invest in economies which are dictated my percieved mad men who say or do anything at buget time. This kind of economics is unreal and not a sound method. Example with the development of the airport one government gave its assurance that it would have commenced in one way. The other government came and changed everything. What confidence or posture should the banks now have in this project taking into consideration a significant part of our ecomoy would be involved. Economics for Dummies

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  2. Greater awareness would have long ago translated into strategic development of our human resources with training, and not just expenditure wastage on STEP for the boys.

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