Video: Minister Furbert & Minister Hayward

June 28, 2021 | 2 Comments

[Updated] Minister for the Cabinet Office Wayne Furbert and Minister of Labour Jason Hayward are holding a press conference this afternoon [June 28] to highlight the 2020 labour and employment activity.

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

Update 3.55pm: Minister Furbert’s remarks:

Good Afternoon,

Today I am joined by the Minister of Labour, the Hon. Jason Hayward to highlight the 2020 Labour Force Survey Report from the Department of Statistics, and to discuss Bermuda’s labour and workforce market.

Minister Hayward will speak to the continued effort of his Ministry to support, train and guide our workforce.

As it relates to the 2020 Labour Force Survey, the report contains selected indicators of the labour force and economically inactive population.

As a note the last labour force survey was conducted in November 2019. And the latest report statistics are indicators that have been captured from May 2019 – November 2020.

The term ‘labour force’ refers to those persons of working age who were 16 years or older during the survey reference timeframe and were either gainfully employed [the working population] or available and looking for work [the unemployed population].

Labour Graph Bermuda June 2021

Last year was a particularly difficult year, where many businesses, employers and employees were affected by the challenges in our economy and labour market due to the pandemic.

So it’s important to understand and appreciate the context and background as we review and assess these statistics.

As it stands key highlights from the November 2020 Labour Force Survey Report are as follows:

  • 1. The labour force stood at 36,387 persons.
  • 2. The working population reached 33,496 persons.
  • 3. Among the working population 4,977 persons were underemployed.
  • 4. The employment rate was 75.6%
  • 5. The average hours worked per week was 40.2.
  • 6. The number of unemployed persons stood at 2,891.
  • 7. The unemployment rate was 7.9%.
  • 8. The unemployment rate for Bermudians was 9.6%.
  • 9. The economically inactive population was 17,864 persons.

As a note, there has been a downward trend in the unemployment rate since 2014.

Lastly, I wish to stress that this Government remains committed to investing in our people, encouraging small business development and growing our economy, despite the challenges that we face.

In closing, I want to say ‘thank you’ to all those who took part and completed the survey when contacted by interviewers.

The 2020 labour force survey can be downloaded from www.gov.bm, and the public is advised to read the technical note and the concepts and definitions on pages three through six prior to reviewing the data.

Thank you.

Minister Hayward’s remarks:

Thank you, Minister Furbert and good day to members of the media and the general public.

It is evidently clear that prior to the pandemic Bermuda’s labour market was trending in a positive direction, with an increase in jobs and a decline in unemployment. However, the Labour force Survey results provide a clear indication of the current challenges within our workforce. The Ministry of Labour is responding by implementing effective policy solutions that address the unanticipated social and economic challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry has established policies and initiatives that will foster the expansion of jobs and economic growth.

The public is aware of the National Reemployment Strategic Plan, which is a part of the Government’s mandate to address the number of Bermudians finding themselves unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In September 2020, I pledged to the people of Bermuda that we would do all that we can to provide education, training, career development and employment opportunities to prepare Bermudians to re-enter the workforce as we move beyond the pandemic.

As highlighted in the House of Assembly, significant progress has been made as a result of Phase 1 of this strategy.
As of June 18th:

  • Thirteen [13] new training, career development and employment programmes were successfully delivered.
  • Over six hundred and fifty [650] persons participated in the various face-to-face, on-the-job, online, virtual learning, webinars, internships, apprenticeships and trainee programmes.
  • Approximately seventy [70] individuals have received part-time or full-time employment due to these training initiatives.
  • Since November 2020, the number of unemployed Bermudians that have received employment opportunities through the Department of Workforce Development’s Bermuda Job Board referral process is three hundred and eighty-eight [388].

Phase 2

As we now look to the future and aim to further increase employment numbers, Phase 2 of the National Reemployment Strategic Plan will build upon the progress made, focusing on training, reskilling, up-scaling and utilizing the transferable skills of unemployed Bermudians. This strategy has proven to be successful thus far. It will continue helping unemployed Bermudians become better equipped to take advantage of opportunities that exist in specific restricted and closed categories in the job market. This industry-driven initiative will put even more focus on connecting training with employment opportunities in high demand occupations required now and into the future.

To this end, the following initiatives are currently in place:

  • 1. Economic Stimulus Programme Jobs Initiative – This joint initiative with the Department of Works and Engineering has Nine [9] companies expressing their interest in employing Bermudians as apprentices, trainees, and experienced tradespersons. The objective is to provide twenty [20] job opportunities to unemployed individuals.
  • 2. Industry-Driven Network Partnerships – The Department of Workforce Development will continue to forge partnerships with industry and HR professionals to broaden the range of on-the-job training, internships, virtual learning webinars and online career development and training programmes.
  • 3. Training and Development Programmes – The Department plans to expand its current vocational and technical programme to include new short and long-term certificate programmes to increase employment opportunities with on-the-job internships and experience for unskilled and semi-skilled Bermudians.
  • 4. Employer and Industry Engagement – The Department will continue to collaborate and consult with key industry stakeholders to discuss their specific employment needs and requirements for small, medium, and large businesses. To that end, I am happy to announce that recently, the Chamber of Commerce agreed to form a Sub-Committee to work directly with the Ministry on strategies to re-employ Bermudians.

I can report that through the public appeal to unemployed Bermudians, over two hundred and seventy [270] candidates have registered on the Bermuda Job Board. The Department will follow a three-step process in this regard:

  • 1. It will assess all candidates;
  • 2. It will refer suitable candidates to employers for potential employment opportunities; and
  • 3. It will provide the support needed to assist candidates in achieving their employment goals, including résumé development, interview skills, and coaching in other areas.

The Government remains committed to preparing Bermudians for job opportunities and connecting them with employers where possible.

The Government will continue to take timely and decisive action to restore consumer and business confidence, to stimulate our economy, which in turn will create a clear path to growth and employment. A robust economy with an increase in jobs, is a vital component to getting Bermudians back to work. To that end, the Ministry continue its work toward implementing it policy objectives in alignment with the National Economic Recovery plan.

Thank you.

The November 2020 Labour Force Survey Report follows below [PDF here]

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Comments (2)

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  1. Ringmaster says:

    A politicians field day to show lots of activity by saying look at how many people we are training. Training for what? There is no business activity to provide the jobs. Hiring a few people to mend walls and railings on bridges is not putting Bermuda back to work. It is using existing debt, not creating additional economic activity. It’s the same pie, just divided up more, it’s not creating a bigger pie. What’s scary is that the PLP think they are creating jobs and economic activity. Next will be a big announcement that they are hiring 500 Government employees as a major boost to the economy.

  2. QFF says:

    Minister Hayward. Start by allowing qualified, experienced Bermudians to fill vacancies that you know of yet allow your plp colleagues to block and fill with foreigners. Hypocrisy with a straight face. Your PS talks and dies nothing as well. Carry on. Enjoy the public service salaries you are on. Those will run out soon enough with your choices.

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