A new programme designed to boost employment in the territory was received with interest from hotels and other businesses last week.

Claude Skelton-Cline reached out the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association during a meeting Friday to gather interest and support in the premier’s “1,000 Jobs in 1,000 Days” initiative.

Mr. Skelton-Cline said 538 people have signed up as prospective employees under the programme, which was launched Aug. 14.

The programme seeks to match employers who have vacant positions with prospective employees with relevant skills and interests. To support the initiative, government will offer workshops and pay bonuses to participants who remain employed for at least a year in positions found through the programme.

“The target market is non- permit holders,” he said. “It’s first designed to reach persons who belong by whatever status.”

He clarified to business owners that the intake process for job-seekers did not replace any interview process a company would do otherwise.

Capacity building

Wyndham Lambert Beach Resort hotel manager Alberto Matos Martinez said the territory needs to have training processes for youths as well as the sort of apprenticeship programmes that are often found throughout Europe.

“We need to facilitate that, and the government needs to facilitate that and get it approved,” he said.

BVICCHA Hospitality Chair Chaunci Cline said that the territory needs to prioritise skill sets and foster a capacity- building environment.

“It would be helpful if some- one from the government would come and ask us, ‘What do you need?’” Ms. Cline told Mr. Skelton-Cline, her husband.

Mr. Cline assured the BVIC- CHA that within the first two weeks of October, the government will host a meeting to hear from employers. The purpose, he said, is to discern how to construct seamless, efficient and productive business in the territory.

Grace Consultants

Mr. Skelton-Cline’s firm Grace Consultants is monitoring the 1,000 Jobs initiative as part of his responsibilities under a $98,000 no-bid contract for six months of wide-ranging services including small business assistance, a renewable energy unit, negotiations with telecommunications providers, negotiations for the Prospect Reef site, and other projects, according to an April press release.