Worker Shortage
March 24, 2006

Worker Shortage

Persons sitting on blocks throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines and doing nothing have been urged once again to take up job opportunities here. Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves repeated the call last Tuesday. He was at the signing ceremony where $4.7 million was set aside for construction of the second phase of the Cross Country Road. {{more}}

That will be from Byera Gap to Fergusson on the Windward section of mainland St. Vincent.

Dr. Gonsalves bemoaned the shortage of skilled labour affecting the nation. He attributed the cause to a construction boom taking place.

Carpenters, masons, plumbers and especially heavy equipment operators are in great demand, according to the Prime Minister.

As a consequence, this country may have to resort to overseas labour in order to complete some projects in progress.

He also lamented the shortage of young persons in the construction industry.

“We can’t have works held up because we don’t have labour,” Dr. Ralph said.

The agriculture industry has similarly been hit by the shortage of manpower. Vincentians have been shying away from what are considered laborious tasks in the “hot sun”.

The second phase of the Cross Country Road would be done by the Overseas Engineering Construction Company (OECC), a Republic of China on Taiwan firm, based in Panama.

OECC’s general manager Peter Jen asked for patience during the construction period. He was supported by Jack Yu Tai-Cheng, Republic of China on Taiwan’s Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Vincent Lan, OECC’s Co Director, Supporting Consultant Nelson Ho, and Consular Allan Lou.

Transport and Works Minister Clayton Burgin, Permanent Secretary Leon Snagg, and Engineer Jeffrey Cato also witnessed the ceremony.