Photo Credit: BVI Platinum News
Chairman of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), Hon. Andrew Fahie has promised the creation of 1000 jobs in 1000 days, should the party be elected come February 25.
This bold commitment was made last evening, February 19, when the VIP unveiled its nine-point manifesto under the theme, “restoring hope and prosperity for all.”
In his address, the party’s leader said that the combating of unemployment was the centre of attention in creating the manifesto.
“The Virgin Islands Party Economic Think Tank in collaboration with all stakeholders have been mandated to come up with a sustainable and realistic plan of rescue,” he stated, continuing, “…We can confidently declare today that a Virgin Islands Party Government, of which I will be honoured to lead, will guarantee the creation of a minimum of 1000 jobs in 1000 days.”
This, he said, can be achieved through increased investment in the Territory, as a result of investment promotion, business development, and through the rebuilding of infrastructure and the expansion of services in the BVI.
“Our projection of 1000 jobs is a conservative estimate, that’s why we say a minimum, because we are excited and optimistic that through our bold policy approaches, and our encouragement of small business development, we can achieve much more than this,” he explained.
This figure of 1000, he noted, was arrived at after “counting the direct jobs proposed by policies and not counting all the other spin-off effects there will be in the economy.”
Construction, Hon. Fahie noted, will play an important role in job creation.
“Our plan is to ensure jobs in 10 major areas, with the most wide-ranging of those being initially in construction…Under a VIP Government, we estimate that our policy will ensure 400 additional jobs in the sector over the next three years,” he stated.
He went on to say, “As construction expands, there will also be a greater demand for masons, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and so forth.”
The VIP is hopeful that the construction workers will not be the only ones to benefit from the industry.
Addressing the gathering at the manifesto launch, he said, “When construction workers get back to work, when hotel services are expanded, it’s not just those jobs and those areas that will be positively impacted, but in spin offs in the bars and the shops, in human services, in education and so forth.”
The VIP also plans on, “Attracting a new 5-star property in the Territory that will create 300 jobs during construction and when it is completed, 250 between full-timers and part-timers.”
Other infrastructural projects will create other jobs, he said optimistically. One such is the repair of the Territory’s sewerage system, which at its peak will employ 100 people, Hon. Fahie told his audience.
Also, jobs made possible through projects by the Recovery and Development Agency (RDA) are estimated to create an additional 100 jobs in the next three years, he said.
What we want to do is create the jobs, improve the economy…ensure that an economy is booming enough that they could get other jobs, encourage investment, remove red tape for businesses.
Government’s only responsibility is not limited to directly creating jobs, the VIP Leader posited. The creation of a business-friendly and investment approachable environment, as well as training persons with the necessary skills is also important, he told.
“The center-piece of our entire plan you heard today is the reality and the need to get our people back to work and to develop an economy that will provide adequate and sustainable jobs. The rebuilding and redirecting of this economy must be built on the prediction of mothers and fathers going back to work and our young people being able to begin to carve out their own future,” Hon. Fahie told his supporters.
He went on to say, ”If we have to save and build families, and we have to construct a society that does not leave any of us behind, it must be built on the strong foundation of work. That is why as a Government, our number one job is to ensure that jobs are created.”
“Our job shall be to guarantee you a job. It is through the very activity of work that we will spur growth in the economy by broadening people’s income base. We are also creating the opportunity for Government to earn more and to find that cashbook that will finance education and healthcare, and a social security system that will take care of our elderly,” Hon. Fahie declared.