The Department of Labour will this week expand its Labour on the Blocks initiative to the classroom, with Labour in the Schools, Minister of Labour and Immigration Keith Bell said yesterday.
Bell said the department intends to visit every school, beginning with Government High School this week.
“We are seeking now to ensure that our high school students – those in grades 10, 11 and 12 – will be prepared for the workplace. It’s important that they acquire the skills and its important that they know what’s available and that they begin to create the mindset that they will get those jobs. We are offering the training, not just the Labour department, other agencies of the government and the private sector, as well as the National Training Agency and all of the agencies,” he told reporters yesterday.
The initiative comes after the most recent Labour on the Blocks this past weekend, which was held in conjunction with the principals of IHOP Bahamas, who are recruiting new hires.
Bell could not say how many positions were filled, however, the company has said it is looking to hire 200 Bahamians in its first round of operations, before possibly expanding to as many as 600.
Last week, Director of Labour Robert Farquharson explained that the department’s database currently has more than 65,000 people registered, though not all of those people are necessarily unemployed.
Because of the census that took place last year and the COVID-19 pandemic before that, the Bahamas Statistical Institute has not produced a labor force survey since 2019.
Therefore, it is unclear the current state of the work force.
Last year, the Inter-American Development Bank estimated that unemployment in The Bahamas was at 18 percent.