A recovery that works for all
Across Bermuda, the impact of a fractured global economy has touched far too many of us. In response, your Progressive Labour Party government acted swiftly to implement our Economic Recovery Plan designed to get our people back to work, revitalise and diversify our economy, and invest in our infrastructure.
A priority list of 31 initiatives focusing exclusively on government action with the highest and broadest impact on our medium-term economic growth and employment is in motion.
These 31 initiatives form seven core categories:
1, Economic diversification
2, Financial markets
3, Infrastructure investment
4, Expanding the resident population
5, Labour market and social development measures
7, Regulatory framework
As we continue to focus on executing these initiatives, I would like to highlight some of the progress we are making in three of them — Labour market and social development measures, infrastructure investment, and financial markets.
Labour market and social development measures
Your government believes in Bermudians and recognises that we need to invest in preparing our people to compete in our economy, keep our youth on the right path, and provide avenues for those who have made mistakes to still succeed in the 21st-century Bermuda economy.
That is why we have launched our National Re-employment Strategy, aimed to create employment opportunities, enhance the labour supply, and promote equality and equity in our labour market — all while building a more robust workforce through information, training and education.
We are making steady progress in this space, including:
• Delivering 13 new training, career development, and employment programmes
• Providing more than 650 Bermudians with the opportunity to participate in the various face-to-face, on-the-job, online and virtual learning webinars, internships, apprenticeships and trainee programmes
• Seventy Bermudians successfully placed in part-time or full-time jobs because of these initiatives
Since late 2020, more than 388 unemployed Bermudians have found employment through the Department of Workforce Development’s Job Board, and I urge those seeking employment to contact the department as they continue to do great work assisting those returning to the workforce.
Your government also recognises that Bermuda is facing an affordable housing crisis and as a result, as part of our Infrastructure Investment, we seek to expand the number of affordable homes in Bermuda for Bermudians.
Through the Bermuda Housing Corporation, several housing initiatives are under way or completed.
This includes the fully completed redevelopment of Ripton Cottage. The Salvation Army Block B is nearing completion. The refurbishment of apartments at Harmony Block B finishes in early 2023. The Battery Road loft two-bedroom apartments and three-studio apartments are in the planning stages, and the Regent House four-bedroom/two-bathroom units are in the planning stages
These investments may not make the headlines, but are making a real difference in the living conditions of many Bermudians.
Your government has heard from you on the doorstep about how mortgage rates hurt our families and economy. That is why a pilot mortgage-guarantee programme will start later this year, allowing for lower mortgage rates for the customer. The programme will assist new home buyers and those with existing mortgages as well. Your government, with an unwavering commitment to building a nation of owners, will continue to work to provide opportunities for Bermudians to purchase or hold on to their piece of the rock.
The world is going through tough times and, unfortunately, Bermuda has not been exempted from the economic struggles that many in our global community face. Despite this, your PLP government is listening and taking action to get Bermudians back to work and reduce the economic pressure on working families.
As a government we understand more must be done, but when considering the above initiatives, buoyed by our tourism figures this year coming in above expectation, that we have now witnessed four consecutive quarters of GDP growth, and that we are seeing steady improvements in the working population, I support the independent assessment of S&P Global Ratings when it says, “Economic recovery in Bermuda is under way.”
• Jaché Adams is the government MP for Pembroke West (Constituency 19)