Video: Minister Burch & Minister Hayward

June 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch and Minister of Labour Jason Hayward are holding a press conference this morning [June 3] to provide an update on the Economic Stimulus Program. We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 11-minute replay is below

Update 1.25pm: Minister Burch’s remarks:

Good morning to members of the media and the listening public.

I am pleased to be here with my colleague, the Minister of Labour, the Honourable Jason Hayward to provide a further update on the Short Term Stimulus Programme that was launched on December 17th, 2020 to a maximum value of BMD $13,385,000 where small to medium sized contractors were invited to participate.

The programme was launched to address an urgent need to provide stimulus to the local economy in order to retain and boost employment numbers in the wake of the economic downturn sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result the Ministry of Public Works compiled a list of “shovel ready” projects that were executable almost immediately. These projects are mostly infrastructure improvements and will not add further burden to government operational expenses. The project’s selection principles are to maximize the employment of the private sector while providing much-needed refreshing of neglected infrastructure.

To ensure allocation of the stimulus funding across the participating businesses, the Ministry maintains a register of approved contractors and awarded contracts to ensure that no one company monopolizes the project list. Once a company obtains a project, they will be rotated to the bottom of the list to allow other companies an opportunity for work. The guiding principle is to prioritize all companies that provide the most employment benefit per dollar spent while spreading the work among Bermudian owned and operated businesses.

Many of these small to medium sized businesses have never worked for government before and oftentimes the challenge is cash flow. In light of this we have arranged with the Accountant Generals Department to accelerate the payment schedule to every two weeks – noting that those who owe government money must engage in a payment plan in order to secure the work

However, I can advise that 93 out of the 98 Companies that applied have been approved and are pre-qualified to work with the Government. 6 projects have started and 11 additional contracts have been awarded. Those 17 projects are worth $1,176,930.63.

There are also several other projects out for evaluation and seeking quotes.

The entire team at the Ministry have been working extremely hard to get this initiative up and running, ably led by consultant Project Manager, Mr. Robert Richardson who has been assigned to coordinate the work of all those involved.

We are very pleased with the response to the Stimulus Programme thus far from both contractors and likely employees – all of whom want to get to work and help the economy improve. The aim here is to get as many people working as quickly as possible.

At this time, I invite my colleague Minister Hayward to provide some more great news.

Thank you.

Minister Hayward’s remarks:

Thank you, Minister Burch and good day to all members of the media and the listening public.

I am excited to be here today to announce the Economic Stimulus Programme Employment initiative.

Jointly launched by the Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Public Works and supported by the Bermuda Housing Corporation, this initiative perfectly aligns with the Short Term Stimulus Programme and the Government’s goal of getting Bermudians back to work.

This new cross-ministry initiative will give unemployed Bermudians the opportunity to utilise their transferable skills and develop on-the-job skills through short-term placements with local companies contracted for government work.

The initiative will have companies awarded contracts through the Economic Stimulus Programme take on skilled or semi-skilled unemployed Bermudians for the duration of the short, medium and long term projects, for an initial period of up to six months from June – November 2021.

The Department of Workforce Development will recommend Bermudians with the necessary experience and skillsets required for entry-level and mid-level job opportunities to companies. The Department will then manage the employer and employee relationship for the duration of the placement. The candidate is expected to contribute and further develop their skillset through this on-the-job experience. Ultimately, we hope that the employer would offer them full-time employment at the end of each project.

This is an excellent opportunity for employers looking to hire and individuals seeking employment.

I am aware that several companies have expressed a willingness to offer apprenticeship/internship employment opportunities to Bermudians and many individuals looking to secure employment with them.

The public will know that the Department of Workforce Development has entered the second phase of its Re-employment and Re-integration Plan, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to:

  • continue providing training and job readiness services to unemployed Bermudians
  • register unemployed Bermudians, skilled in restricted and closed work permit categories and
  • engage with employers, recruitment agencies, and other industry partners to match Bermudians with employers hiring in those specified job categories.

At this time, I want to remind all unemployed Bermudians to register on the Bermuda Job Board and upload their most recent resume to allow the Department of Workforce Development to help connect potential employees with prospective employers. Submitted resumes will be cross-referenced against employer work permit renewals and used to determine the composition of closed and restricted job categories beyond 31st July 2021.

Interested companies and unemployed Bermudians who wish to participate in this or any other initiative can contact the Department of Workforce Development at 297-7714.

Thank you.

Read More About

Category: All, News, Videos

Leave a Reply