Minister of Education, Labor and Employment Services Hon. Rachel Taylor has rolled out a robust unemployment/underemployment registration drive that aims to ensure that Turks and Caicos Islanders are at the top of the pecking order when certain jobs become available.
(L-R) Rachel Taylor, Minister of Labor; Minister Taylor with Edwin Taylor, Labor Commissioner
Unveiled under the moniker J.O.B.S. – Job, Opportunity and Basic Skills, on Monday, June 7, in Providenciales, Minister Taylor pointed out that the initiative seeks to assist job seekers with obtaining basic skills prior to applying for vacancies and attending interviews with potential employers.
“This registration drive aims to account for all local unemployed and underemployed persons, so that the Department of Labor and Employment has the opportunity to properly evaluate their resumes and ensure they have continuous health coverage during this period,” she asserted.
Minister Taylor said it was important that persons are registered so that when openings become available the Labor Department could make recommendations for locals to acquire jobs.
The drive was scheduled to Tuesday, June 8, at IGA Supermarket Parking Lot in the country’s capital Grand Turk.
The events continue:
· Friday, June 11, at Sunny Foods in Five Cays, Providenciales;
· Wednesday 16th June Butterfield Square, Downtown, Providenciales;
· Friday, 18th June Nell’s Gift Shop, Leeward Highway, Providenciales;
· Monday, 21st June PTV Parking Lot, Providenciales;
· Thursday, 24th June IGA Gourmet, Providenciales;
· Friday, 25th June North Caicos; and
· Monday, 28th June South Caicos, Digicel Parking Lot.
The government, earlier this year, invited the unemployed to register with the Labor Department. However, the minister revealed up to the time of the news conference, 476 persons had registered.
In giving the breakdown, the minister said 80 percent of the registrants are Turks and Caicos Islanders, nine percent were naturalized citizens, five percent were holders Spousal Residence Permits, four percent were Residence Permits holders and two percent being Free Lance Work Permits.
She pointed out that COVID-19 had rendered many persons unemployed or underemployed, and so, her government was committed to ensuring that they become beneficiaries of the recovery that is being made.
“If you are already registered, the Department of Labor and Employment Services will be making contact with you to update our records. There is no need to re-register at this time unless there has been a material change to any information on your resume. We are asking you to monitor your phone and emails for any correspondence from our department,” the minister urged.
She said interested persons could register at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Taylor pointed out also that government has embarked on a training exercise of locals in July, to ensure that they are job-ready when the opportunities arise.
“Further updates will be circulated at a later date,” she promised.
She continued: “As part of our training, we have partnered with the Ritz Carlton and the Marriott Ambassadors who are on island to provide hospitality training for their staff. They have lent support to assist us from Wednesday, June 9th to Friday, June 11th for persons registered as unemployed and interested in hospitality careers. These persons have already been identified and are eager to commence the workshops,” Taylor revealed.
She said the training would cover Food & Beverage, Front Office and other key hospitality functions.
“The Human Resource Manager has promised an ongoing series of workshops in partnership with Employment Services,” she said.
She stated that the recent moratorium on first time work permits, which was established on May 1, has provided the Department of Labor Department the opportunity to assess the employment market, and strategize as to how best affected residents could benefit from any job openings that would otherwise be taken by first time work permit holders.
“The moratorium also speaks to the consultation period with key stakeholders. In light of this, the Ministry has already begun consultation and will continue its initiative with the Hotel Association, Chamber of Commerce, water sports and restaurant groups.
“Discussions at these meetings will be centered around local recruitment, training, and communicating the government’s plans moving forward. We will also request staffing information from companies throughout the TCI to build on our current employment database in order to compare wages, gender information, youth employment, skills deficit across various sectors and predict potential job growth in the next two years,” she said.
She said there would be further update in July once the government completed its consultation with stakeholders and consider the state of employment in the country.