Roseau, Dominica – July 7, 2010…… Minister with responsibility for Labour, Hon. Charles Savarin has said that in the grip of the worst financial and economic crisis since the 1930s, Dominica has suffered less than most.
Dominica’s Minister for National Security, Immigration and Labour, Hon. Charles Savarin made the statement at a public activity.
“While unemployment remains an issue all over the world, even in developed countries, we in Dominica cannot lose sight of the fact that so far we have suffered less than most,” Minister Savarin stated.
The Minister also noted that while some sectors of the economy, notably the hotel, tourism and the hospitality sectors have been severely challenged throughout the Caribbean as a result of the global downturn, the Government of Dominica has sought to stimulate employment by implementing a number of programmes and initiatives.
Mention was made of the aggressive implementation of the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) in the building of roads, bridges, hospitals, health centres, police stations and water works as well as the Housing Revolution programme.
According to the Minister, support has also been provided for agriculture, fisheries and small business development.
The Minister for Labour added that the Government continues in the upgrading of the services at the Labour Division to include the facilitation and placing of Dominican nationals in jobs at home and overseas.
“Our overseas workers in Canada continue to report increases in earnings and savings amounting to over one million Canadian dollars annually. In the last year, at least two hundred young Dominicans were placed in jobs in cruise ship services and currently another two hundred are being processed for employment,” Hon. Savarin stated.
The Minister added that efforts are underway to find new ways of marketing Dominica’s talented workers in the USA through the Regional Labour Board Office in Washington to ensure that Dominicans “can benefit from the opportunities that exist in both the agricultural and hospitality sectors within the United States”.
The Ministry of Labour is currently reviewing matters relating to minimum wages in order to advise Government on the further review of the minimum wage rates, the Minister said. The Government increased minimum wage rates for various categories of workers, effective June 1, 2008, after it had remained unchanged for nearly twenty years.
Hon. Savarin has also stated that in keeping with its 100 days pledge, Government established a $1,000.00 minimum pay per month for full-time workers in the government service.
In addition 100 new positions have been created in the nursing service, 150 new positions in the teaching service, 50 new positions in the police service and 11 new positions in the Fire and Ambulance Service.
“In addition, Government is pursuing a programme for ensuring that our youth become and remain gainfully engaged. One of these areas is the focusing on technical vocational education and training, and the certification of shills, to ensure that our citizens benefit from the CSME and the OECS Economic Union,” Senator Savarin concluded.