Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation CEO Jeffrey Beckles said yesterday that Hurricane Dorian has presented tremendous opportunities for the labor market and industries as hundreds of skilled workers from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) could impart skills training with Bahamians.
With the number of organizations that have made themselves available to help with relief and rebuilding efforts post-Dorian, the chamber CEO said The Bahamas could get some sort of positive from the devastating storm.
“Tremendous opportunities are going to be made available,” he said.
“How? When you consider the number of NGOs that are actually on the ground in The Bahamas that have monies to be spent that are tax free to The Bahamas, you and I don’t have to bear the burden of that expertise [nor] the cost of that expertise, that’s one thing that The Bahamas government, meaning taxpayers – you and me – don’t have to fork out to cover those costs.
“Whether it’s engineering, waste management, whatever they may be, add to that the value of knowledge transfer. These organizations have come to The Bahamas with tremendous experience, tremendous exposure. Well, this is an opportunity to train Bahamians [in] new careers, new opportunities [and] new abilities to make a living and sustain ourselves.”
Beckles said with proper planning, which he said takes time and collaborative efforts from government and the private sector, The Bahamas can use a rebuilt Abaco and eastern Grand Bahama as a model for all other islands.
“These are some of the areas that the Chamber of Commerce is actively participating [in] to ensure that again, as we take a look and delve into the larger rebuilding plan for Abaco and eastern Grand Bahama, that they’re getting the template right, because at the end of the day our objective is to foster economic growth [and] to sustain it,” he said.
“…As we look forward, we’re not just looking three and five years down the road, but we’re looking ten and twenty years down.
“Keep in mind that whatever we end up with in a finished product on Abaco and East Grand Bahama, has to be replicated at least 10 other times because we will have to do the same thing in Nassau, Andros, Bimini, Long Island, Eleuthera, Exuma and the list goes on.
“We can’t just stop at rebuilding a stronger Abaco and East Grand Bahama and stop there because the vulnerabilities remain for our other islands.”