ROAD TOWN, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS — As the territory undertakes a new renewable energy initiative, at least 40 young men and women who successfully completed a training program are now poised to take up positions in the industry either at home or abroad.
Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development Shereen Flax-Charles, while delivering a statement in the House of Assembly, lauded the young British Virgin Islanders for having completed the course at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College that enabled them to find work in construction and renewable energy.
According to Flax-Charles, “This program was well-rounded and what is so important as BV Islanders is that we were able to conduct such a program here right here in our islands without persons having to travel overseas…and it is also exciting that most of the persons in the program are qualified to work anywhere in the world. That is something that is a great accomplishment for a lot of these young men and women.”
Flax-Charles added, “While we would love for these technicians to stay here on a regular basis when we are able to roll out this program, they also have an opportunity to advance themselves internationally.”
Premier and Minister of Finance Andrew Fahie also outlined the potential benefits the nation could reap by embracing renewable energy, not only in terms of more employment but also an estimated $78.5 million in savings over a five-year period.
“It positions our people and businesses to participate in what is potentially one of the great economic opportunities of our time — the transformation of our territories, regions and the world’s energy industries,” he said.
Flax-Charles informed her fellow government officials that several recent graduates were already eagerly applying for jobs in the industry, and she encouraged others who may be interested to take advantage of similar training courses.
“I support this motion and the amount of jobs that this will bring [and] the amount of new businesses,” she said. “At the trade department, we have already received applications from a lot of these young men and women who are eager to start their own business as it relates to solar energy or renewable energy.”
She added, “I want us to emphasize on the fact that we’re able to offer these courses here in the BVI and we want to encourage especially our young men [to] take up these courses when they become available.”