Some govt job program employees lack skills to be placed in private sector

Just under 60 of the roughly 80 government employees from the 52-week jobs program that were “put on hold”, have been placed in jobs in the private sector, Office of the Prime Minister Press Secretary Clint Watson revealed.

Last month, Minister of State for the Public Service Pia Glover-Rolle said 85 employees had been put on hold because the government did not have anywhere to put them and that the government would engage private sector employers interested in hiring those workers. Many of the hires were made in July and leading up to the September 16 general election.

Watson said the remaining twenty or so employees have not been placed because they lacked the skill set required in the private sector.

“There’s been a lot of interest about being able to place persons in the private sector. So far there have been about 50 to 60 persons who have been placed. The program started out very aggressively, it started out with a lot of interest and it slowed down. Here’s the challenge we have arrived to, most of the persons that could have easily been placed have been placed, those are the 50 to 60 persons,” he said during Friday’s press briefing.

“Those that remain, the challenge is because they lack skills it’s hard to place them in the private sector and that’s why it has slowed down significantly, because those who the private sector could have used, who may have had special skills, have been absorbed but there are now those who remain who don’t have those skills and it’s hard to place them. So what’s being done now is trying to see how we can give some practical skills for those who are still looking for placement so it makes it easier to be placed, but there has been a lot of interest from the private sector. The challenge is we have not been able to supply them with the skilled labor they are actually looking for.”

The Minnis administration allocated $5 million for the 52-week jobs program in the 2021/2022 budget.

In June, then Minister of Public Service and National Insurance Brensil Rolle said the government would make close to 1,200 individuals who enrolled in the 52-week jobs program, permanent.

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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