STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES,
LABOUR AND IMMIGRATION,
HONOURABLE VINCENT WHEATLEY
AT THE SITTING OF THE 5TH SITTING, 2ND SESSION,
4TH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY,
TUESDAY 25TH FEBRUARY, 2020- LABOUR UPDATE
Mister Speaker, in our quest to create a labour market that is conducive to economic growth, investment and employment creation and one that will be characterised by improved skills, equity, sound labour relations, and due respect to those who help to create economic opportunities, the Department of Labour and Workforce Development will be embarking on a number of projects this year.
Mister Speaker, there will a programme for orientation for Employers. The primary objective is to ensure that sound labour practices are followed, through the enforcement of the BVI Labour Laws/Code so that a harmonious working environment can exist between the employer and the employee. A few of the benefits that will be derived from the Orientation are:
1. Building employer awareness and compliance on Health & Safety and Labour Relations matters;
2. Reducing unauthorized employment from within the Territory;
3. Curtailing the number of reported disputes by informing employers of his/her rights as prescribed in the Labour Code, 2010.
Further Mister Speaker, the Department will introduce a Skilled Workers Amnesty Programme (SWAP) - Skilled workers, particularly in the Construction Industry, who are working in the Territory with employers not listed on their work permits will be asked to contact the Department to address regularizing their work permits status.
We will re-commence the Health and Safety Campaign - Used as a means to rejuvenate and create a culture of Health and Safety in the workplace, this campaign will help to educate employers of the requirements outlined in the Labour Code 2010 as it relates to Health, Safety and Welfare, as well as facilitate necessary short training. Employers will also gain knowledge on the effects and preventative methods of health and safety in our everyday lives.
Mister Speaker, lastly but by no means least, we will be continuing with the 1000 jobs in 1000 days initiative as we will be offering soft skills training to our local job seekers. This will help to have a cadre of VIslander/Belonger job seekers better trained and prepared to fill job vacancies.
Thank you Mister Speaker.