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Construction industry encouraged by stimulus plans

Encouraged: Simon Tully, president of the Construction Association of Bermuda (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Construction Association of Bermuda is “encouraged” by Government’s $13.4 million short-term economic stimulus programme but says it has missed an opportunity to support training in the trades, the organisation’s president said yesterday.

Simon Tully said: “CAOB is encouraged by the stimulus offered to the contracting industry, we trust that the tendering process will be transparent and successful bidders will be vetted to confirm their relevant taxes are up to date as well as their employees’ healthcare coverage, as the CAOB holds its members to this standard.”

But he added: “Having said that, the CAOB would have liked to see Government utilise this stimulus as an opportunity to tie in apprenticeship programmes to contracts, whereby it encourages trades training and certification, in collaboration with the Department of Workforce Development/CAOB so Bermudians can gain NCCER qualifications.

“Also, CAOB would encourage safety training for all successful contract bidders so that for future government contracts, they would be pre-qualified.”

The CAOB is the Bermuda representative for NCCER, the National Centre for Construction Education and Research, an American not-for-profit education foundation that offers curricula for more than 70 craft areas.

The submission process for the stimulus programme, which invites small and medium-sized companies to bid on jobs to repair the island’s infrastructure, was announced last week by public works minister David Burch.

Mr Burch said the ministry has compiled a list of “shovel-ready projects that are executable within three months”.

He said contracts will range in value from $15,000 to $800,000, and will begin to be awarded in January.

The contracts constitute the balance of the 45 short-term projects having a maximum value of $13.385 million that were announced earlier by government.

They are being financed with part of the proceeds of government’s debt raise of $1.35 billion in the bond markets.

Small and medium-sized businesses can find more information by signing on to the government website at https://www.gov.bm/procurement/rfsq-stimulus-program, or by emailing stimulus@gov.bm.

The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation Act 1980 defines “small business” as a Bermudian-owned owner-operated business enterprise with gross annual sales revenues of less than $1 million, or an annual payroll of less than $500,000.

The legislation defines “medium-sized business” as a Bermudian-owned and owner-operated business enterprise with at least three of the following attributes: gross annual revenues of between $1 million and $5 million; net assets of less than $2.5 million; an annual payroll between $500,000 and $2.5 million; between a minimum of 11 and a maximum of 50 employees; and been in operation for a minimum of 10 years.

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Published December 23, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated December 22, 2020 at 9:24 pm)

Construction industry encouraged by stimulus plans

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