As the campaign for the May 24 general elections heats up, the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government is promising to find work for thousands of unemployed Barbadians over the next two years.
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite, the party’s candidate for St Philip South, said plans were in train to create numerous jobs, especially in the vital tourism sector.
“We estimate that over the next couple of years, by 2020, that we are going to create 15,000 new jobs – 5,300 directly employed by tourism and another 10,000 indirectly. [We] reckon that, by that year, these jobs will be connected to tourism,” he said.
However, Brathwaite expressed concern that Government may not be able “to train enough young people by 2020 to take all the jobs up that we estimate will be created.
“Indeed in our discussions in Cabinet we are concerned that we [may] even need to import labour to fill the demand,” he said, while addressing DLP supporters at a meeting in Long Bay, St Philip at which particular mention was made of the ongoing redevelopment of the defunct Sam Lord’s Castle Resort into a five star Wyndham Grand.
“The Sam Lord’s Castle development is scheduled to be completed by 2019, but I suspect given my last visit, that it probably will not be completed until 2020. That will give us an additional 450 rooms in St Philip,” Brathwaite said, adding that “those rooms mean a further 650 individuals being employed”. Braithwaite was supported by his St Philip North colleague Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley, who spoke about the significant contribution the old Sam Lord’s Castle had made to the lives of many families in the community.
“Sam Lord’s Castle will provide jobs for labourers, carpenters and masons. We are now building it and it will provide jobs there after as well. That same hotel has made an outstanding contribution to this constituency. It has sustained families and provided money for persons,” Lashley said during the meeting at which Brathwaithe also spoke of plans by the incumbent , which has been in office for the past ten years, to transform parts of St Philip.
“We want to transform the facility at Skeete’s Bay because, as you know, it is not well utilized currently. In fact it is in deplorable condition and we are optimistic that we can put that to good use in a tourism related project.
“We intend also to further develop Six Roads. I can say to you that we have already drawn up the plans for a police station and complex to be constructed in Six Roads just above Automotive Arts.
“We are going to go to St Martin’s Mangrove and knock it down and we are going to build a completely new school in St Martins. We will expand the school not only modernize it. We will continue to transform our society to improve the lives of the ordinary men and women,” he said.