By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – In the wake of their new apprenticeship program energy company FortisTCI has revealed they are woefully short on skilled labour. Representatives of the company spoke at the apprenticeship launch explaining the difficulty the company is facing.
“Recruitment is one of the things that we do have challenges with, particularly in the technical area. The engineers, the linesmen, the operators, we are limited locally with finding those skills…the labour market is under tremendous stress right now, it has been a difficult challenge for us.” Fortis TCI President and CEO Ruth Forbes said.
While she could not provide a concrete number on how many unfilled positions existed she explained what the company needed.
“We have talked a lot about transitioning to more sustainable sources of energy, we are looking for skills in that area, also on the data analytics side and we’re always looking for engineers, technicians, I.T. persons, cybersecurity,” she explained “we’re also looking for skills on the business side, we have accounting roles that are currently open that we are unable to fill because we can’t find any qualified accountants and the list goes on.”
In terms of how badly the lack of workers is affecting them Forbes said they had been able to manage so far despite the fact that it was not ideal. In the meantime persons in the company we’re taking it as an opportunity to upskill themselves and Fortis was able to promote a batch of nine individuals recently.
FortisTCI has a history of seeing opportunities for growth in talented young people and providing them with opportunities to hone their talents but with the advent of this worker shortage they are going a step further to grow the skills base in the Turks and Caicos. A FortisTCI university is ‘most definitely’ in the works they say.
The shortage is not due to them losing employees at all as young people employed to the company have glowing reviews of their workspace. Director of Human Resources Claudia Munnings explained that the company was enthusiastic about creating an environment for growth.
“One of the things that we are focusing on is our employee experience and transforming that experience… the thing that most motivates persons is the opportunity for growth.. you can grow where you are planted and it’s very important for people to accept the opportunity to grow in the areas where they are and embrace those opportunities for training, learning and development so that when the opportunity arises to move upward they are prepared for it . That is something that we have pushed.”
Munnings explained that they were constantly pushing their employees further in their careers but the gap persists. The recently announced apprenticeship program at FortisTCI is one step in closing the gap.
“One of the things that we are looking at as an extension is extending some of the training courses we have internally to members of the public.”
While the construction of a university remains in the works they are currently working on other way to funnel students into the industry.
“We see ourselves strengthening our relationships with the TCI Community College and with High Schools and even the primary schools, getting in there as soon as we can. We’re always looking for ways to bridge the talent gap in the Turks and Caicos Islands. ”
The TVET program by the TCICC is one the company has its eye on currently as well. For people already qualified FortisTCI is still accepting applications for its apprenticeship program, which offers Associate and Bachelor’s degree graduates an opportunity to experience the business environment within its three major divisions, the job will begin on August 2, 2022 with the top 4 candidates.
They will be allowed to work for a period of two (2) years and will rotate within a specific division for the first 6-12 months for broad exposure with a specific placement for the subsequent 12 months based on their proficiency. Munnings promised it would pay well with many of the benefits afforded to employees.
Register of Interests of the Members of the House of Assembly
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Integrity Commission advises that the Register of Interests for Members of the Turks and Caicos Islands House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022 has been completed.
Members of the House of Assembly are required by the Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, Section 103(2), and the Integrity Commission Ordinance (the Ordinance), as amended, Section 52(1), to file with the Commission, Statements of Registrable Interests. The Commission would, therefore, like to inform members of the public that, it has compiled the information contained in these Statements of Registrable Interests and has produced The Register of Interests 2022 for the Members of the House of Assembly, as at 31st December 2022.
The Register of Interests 2022 is now available for public inspection at the following locations:
- House of Assembly in Grand Turk
- Office of the Premier – Grand Turk and Providenciales
- Office of the Integrity Commission – Grand Turk and Providenciales (during the hours of 8:30am to 4:30pm from Mondays to Thursdays and 8:00am to 4:00pm on Fridays.)
- Office of the District Commissioner – Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Salt Cay and South Caicos.
The Register can be viewed at these locations during normal working hours or at a time that is convenient for the respective offices.
For further information or any assistance please contact the Integrity Commission:
By telephone at: 946-1941(Grand Turk Office) or 941-7847 (Providenciales Office) By e-mail at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Grand Bahama to be CARGO HUB, as Bahamas & Qatar ink MOU
#TheBahamas, September 29, 2023 – With moves to deepen ties, governments of The Bahamas and Qatar have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to solidify agreements in principle surrounding the development of aviation and other related services.
This is according to Chester Cooper, The Bahamas Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investment and Aviation in a Facebook post.
This comes after The Bahamas Government in a press release on September 24th, revealed that Cooper, was set to meet with the head of Qatar Airways to have talks regarding “multiple mutually beneficial aviation opportunities for both countries.”
The release also said the deputy prime minister and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investment and Aviation are working on “forging strategic partnerships with several Middle Eastern countries to strengthen ties to The Bahamas and the Caribbean,” and this new signing is indicative of such efforts.
Following the September 25th signing, on September 27th, Kenneth Romer, Deputy Director General of Tourism for The Bahamas informed via Facebook some details of the agreement saying, “we have now established a framework for cooperation and formed strategic partnerships with Qatar Airways, Qatar’s Transport, Aviation and Investment Agencies and The Qatar Aeronautical Academy, that will benefit our country.”
Regarding further efforts for the improvement of The Bahamas, Cooper announced on Facebook again on Tuesday September 26th that both countries are working to make Nassau a passenger hub for Latin America and the Caribbean adding that talks are being held for Grand Bahama as a cargo hub.
Additionally, as the press release informed, Cooper is preparing for an on ground visit of Bahamasair domestic operations by Qatar Airways Technical team sometime in October.
Guyana to build regional food hub
#Guyana, September 29, 2023 – Guyana is making moves to become the primary food production center for the Caribbean, going ahead with plans to develop a USD$14 million regional food hub.
In fact, as reported by the Observer, the facility has already been identified on the country’s Soesdyke /Linden Highway.
“We want Guyana to be the food hub, the primary production hub of the Caribbean so that we could supply the Caribbean. What we have, our colleagues in the Caribbean don’t have. We have arable flat land and abundant fresh water,” he said, adding that with the multi-million dollar US investment, the country can, “modernise the infrastructure, and start ramping up the productions.”
Also, the Agriculture Minister pointed out that the project is geared to make for a more competitive local Agriculture industry as well as developing high-yielding varieties, pest-resistant and climate-resilient varieties.
Additionally, in the facility’s development, Guyana, Mustapha said, will work with Belize.
In fact, with more on Belize’s involvement, Dr. Ashni Singh, Finance Minister, informed that the Government is in talks with the Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley about sourcing inputs from northern Brazil and transporting them through Guyana to Barbados and vice versa.
Singh also reportedly revealed that the project will help develop the growing logistics industry in Guyana.
Considering regional food import cost, with this development, Guyana is the leading Caribbean Community country pushing ahead with plans to reduce the multi-billion dollar regional food import bill by 25 per cent by 2025, the Observer says.
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