Categorized | National News

Gov’t gets $20MIL IDB Loan For Training

The government yesterday entered into a $20million dollar loan agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), for the Skills for Current and Future jobs in The Bahamas initiative.

The initiative is an overall investment of $50million, where the other $30 million is financed by the government, according to Chief of Operations, Michael Nelson.

“This programme is a result of significant partnership work between the IDB and the government of The Bahamas over the past decade,” he said.

“This  includes the IDB-Financed, Wage, and Productivity Survey which was a survey of some 2,378 Bahamian firms which concluded that among the difficulties was finding the right skill set within the labour market, specifically with relation to job skills as well as applicants lack of experience, and lack of soft skills.

“As such, there has been some challenge in improving labour productivity in the country.”

Minister of Finance, Deputy Prime Minister, K. Peter Turnquest said that the overall objective of the loan project aims to increase employability and improve access to quality jobs for Bahamians ages 16-40, especially in areas such as maritime, medical services, information technology and telecommunications, targeted at the unemployed and school leavers.

According to the DPM there are three components funded through the loan agreement.

The Apprenticeship component is expected to, among other things, expand the ongoing National Training Agency (NTA) pre-apprenticeship initiative to include an additional 1,100 participants.

“Furthermore, there will be a new training programme for advanced participants.

“The number of persons expected to be recruited for the advanced one year programme is 1,350. All persons selected to this programme will receive a stipend.

“I note that stringent measures will be undertaken to ensure that resources are disbursed in accordance with prescribed policies.

“Moreover, requisite evaluations will be undertaken to determine whether this initiative is progressing satisfactorily to achieve its stated objective,” said Mr. Turnquest.

Labour Minister, Senator Dion Foulkes said the programme looks to ease the shortage of trained Bahamians in specific skills.

“What this programme is going to do, and we know it’s going to be successful, we are going to train Bahamian men and women, in the skills that are currently demanded by the market.

“Our curricula in most of our institutions is outdated and going back in the 70’s and 80’s,” he said.

“This programme is a modern skills and apprenticeship programme and we are going to target certain areas especially ICT skills and some hard skills also.

“The idea is as the economy grows, we want Bahamians to take advantage of the opportunities here,” said Mr. Foulkes.

As  for the difference between this programme and that of the National Training Agency’s soft skills programme introduced by the Christie administration, the DPM said the programme is simply an add on targeted at more specific hardcore technical and vocational skills.

The  payment period attached to the loan is 25 years, with an interest rate subject to libor and currently stands at 3.06 per cent.

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook