Chinese will make up the majority of labourers on the transformation of the old Sam Lord’s Castle when construction begins later this year.
And Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, who made the disclosure today, explained that Barbados had to “compromise” on the composition of the labour force because it was holding the Chinese construction firm on the project to specific deadlines.
She told reporters about the 60:40 ratio as she also announced that the US$200 million project, which was originally to start in June, will instead begin in August.
The project is expected to last 18 months and is being funded through the Chinese government.
“I have been hearing and reading queries about the labour force. The agreement was specific that Barbadians will be employed and we have the ratio of 60:40,” Sandiford-Garner told a Press conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
“The 60:40 also include resources other than human resources; other resources that are needed for the construction. If we are holding them to that deadline we have to be a bit more lenient in our request for labour and resources so that then there is no excuse for not meeting the deadline.
“Barbados has decided to compromise a little bit and say ‘look, it is 60:40 but you will be held to your deadline as a result’. And I think that in the long run we should look at the fact that when this project is done you are looking at 1,000 permanent jobs for Barbadians,” Sandiford-Garner added.
As part of the project, the nine-bedroom castle will be restored and a 450-room hotel, which will be operated by international hotel brand Wyndham, will be constructed.