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Progress needed on National Training Plan

Jason Hayward, president of the Bermuda Public Services Union (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dear Sir,

In July 2014, the Bermuda Public Services Union expressed its support for the Bermuda Government’s National Training Plan.

I reiterate here those same sentiments expressed more than a year ago: the BPSU commends and congratulates the Minister of Home Affairs, Michael Fahy, the National Training Board and their team for the development of the National Training Plan, Part 1.

I believe that establishing a National Training Plan that encompasses the short, medium and long term is an essential step towards resolving Bermuda’s current unemployment crisis.

I strongly support the notion that education, training and access to jobs for Bermudians are critical components to reducing the current unemployment rate.

In addition, in the long term, this plan would prove to be an important tool to effectively manage our labour force and help to reduce our dependency on overseas labour.

Part 1 of the plan was primarily focused on analysing the various sectors of our economy with a view to gain insight into the current needs of the job market, as well as to identify emerging and transitional employment opportunities in both the private and public sectors.

We now await part 2, which would focus on both the development and implementation of a training plan for the various economic sectors.

It would also look to identify the resources and possible policy considerations required to make implementation a success. It is also important to note that the information used to formulate part 1 was based primarily on Bermuda’s 2012 employment data.

The longer it takes to finalise part 2, the more dated, and arguably irrelevant, this supporting information becomes. Mr Editor, while I still support the National Training Plan, I would like to see more progress made on its implementation.

It has been more than a year since part 1 of the plan was released, however, there has been no update on when the implementation will begin.

I therefore request that those responsible for the development on the implementation strategy provide the country with a status update for this initiative.

Addressing our growing unemployment levels is one of our country’s most pressing issues and, as such, the creation of this National Training Plan must be our top priority.

The training and development of the Bermudian people is an invaluable investment that will benefit the country for years to come. It is an investment that we must collectively throw our support behind.

Let’s get our unemployed Bermudians back to work — our country’s future depends on it.