PM Gonsalves: No skilled labourer in SVG cannot get a job right now
KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES — A boom in construction jobs in St. Vincent & the Grenadines means almost no skilled worker in the country should struggle to find work.
This is according to Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, who lauded that despite several local and global challenges, the construction industry is more lucrative “right now” than ever before in the country’s history.
He made the comments during an interview on the WEFM 99.9 SVG Issue At Hand radio programme.
“Right now, today, contractors, there's a construction boom in this country today like you have not seen anytime in the history of this country,” Gonsalves said.
Elaborating, he added: “There is no carpenter, no mason, no tile man, no plumber, no electrician who is looking for work and can't find work in St. Vincent right now — no ordinary construction worker.
“If you're in that area, once you're looking for work, you will find it.”
Possible opening for agriculture jobs in St. Vincent
In fact, the prime minister said the construction business is so lucrative right now that some farm workers have left their positions to start working in construction.
“That is what is happening before our very eyes,” Gonsalves said.
As an unexpected result, he hinted, the government may consider bringing in foreign farm workers to help fill the labour shortage in farming and agriculture.
This could create an opening for local jobseekers looking to venture into the agriculture field.
It also comes as there has been a push throughout the Caribbean for more people, and especially more youth, to pursue careers in the industry.
Despite this unforeseen labour shortage, Gonsalves said the country is poised for economic success overall.
Gonsalves mentioned the construction boom while attesting to St. Vincent & the Grenadines being in “far better” economic shape than it was before his administration was elected to office.
“You see material progress all around you,” he said.
“You see it in the economy. You see it in salary. You see it in wages. You see it in the number of persons employed.”
Further, he said that despite challenges like the 2020-2023 COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 La Soufriere volcano eruption, the 2022 Russian-Ukrainian war and “all the knock-on effects”, St. Vincent & the Grenadines saw six percent growth last year.
According to Gonsalves, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also “received wisdom” that “St. Vincent & the Grenadines will grow more than any other country in CARICOM States except Guyana” this year.