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Ministry of Labour’s Vacancy Notice Services Launched on MyGateway




Bahamas Information Services


#NASSAU, The Bahamas, August 21, 2022 –  The Ministry of Labour and Immigration in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Affairs held a press conference to launch the Department of Labour’s Vacancy Notice Services on MyGateway, Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at the Ministry of Labour.

“I am confident that making the Vacancy Notice Application available online is a sign that we have heard our clients and we are in tune with the vision of the Government of The Bahamas,” said the Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration.

“We are not here to simply talk about making a process paperless or extending a service to more islands,” Minister Bell said.  “We are here to herald a moment in time where we have made a government service more easily accessible and its process more transparent.

“The new service will enable employers to apply for a Labour Certificate, upload all of the supporting documents to facilitate the application, pay for the service and obtain a certified labour certificate from any place in the world.  In addition to significantly reducing the time to process and application, the new system will also allow the staff of the Department of Labour to have digital access to date that will reduce fraud and attempts by unscrupulous persons to have multiple applicants applying for the same job.  As this project was completed in conjunction with the staff of the Department of Immigration, the personnel can also authenticate each Labour Certificate that accompanies an application for a work permit,” Minister Bell said.

“The Digital Transformation Unit was created within the Department of Transformation and Digitization in 2019 to focus on the objective of making it easier to do business in The Bahamas. Their work with this Department since November 2021 has been exemplary and made more evident in what we are jointly launching here today. This new digital service signals our collective commitment to build a strong foundation for digital transformation in our nation.

“A great number of employers will reap benefits from taking advantage of this service online, as it saves time and resources, which are both major factors when running a business. It is my hope that they will go on this journey with the Department of Labour and utilize the online option made available.  Moving forward, we will continue to work with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and hopefully onboard more of our service offerings for the benefit of clients near and far. The staff here are excited about this roll-out and have been engaged and trained to work efficiently in this new system. That means when you use it to apply, they will use it to better serve you.

“We are in the midst of a digital revolution and we are ready to work with our clients in new, more progressive ways,” said Minister Bell. “We want to ensure that you are always completely satisfied with our service.  I remind the nation that the Department of Labour remains motivated to encourage the full utilization of Bahamian labourers wherever necessary and will only grant a Labour Certificate when a qualified an available Bahamian is unable to fill the job vacancy. We live and breathe our theme of: “Securing and Safeguarding Decent Work for All.”

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Wayde Watson spoke at the press conference on behalf of Minister of Economic Affairs, Sen. the Hon Michael Halkitis.

Mr. Watson said there is no doubt that Digital transformation will play a key role in fostering the competitiveness of The Bahamas by reducing the costs of conducting business with the government and help to improve the ease of doing business in the country.

The Government Digital Transformation to Strengthen Competitiveness project has achieved numerous groundbreaking accomplishments, implementing a number of ‘firsts’ for The Bahamas.

  1. Developed the Great Bahama Bank – A platform for digital inter-agency connections that allows users to seamlessly register, complete the verification process, and access government services online.
  2. Created and launched MyGateway, the buzzword of the day and a part of the reason we are here celebrating with the Department of Labour.
  3. Formed the country’s first Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT) to assess cyber threat vulnerabilities.
  4. Created the first Centralized Collection Center for the collection of government documents.

Mr. Watson said, “We have so much to celebrate as a Government, and coming here today as two Ministries in agreement with the vision for change with the launch of this service, Bahamians everywhere should be proud of the GoB’s digital transformation initiatives, consistent with this administration’s Blue Print for change, Digital 700 Revolution.

 “Since its launch in February 2021 MyGateway now boasts of:

  • Almost 85,000 registered users, based here in The Bahamas and in over 66 countries around the world.
  • We have developed and launched 48 services online for 13 government agencies. Today, The Department of Labour is in that number.
  • The portal has received and processed approximately 86,000 requests for various government services.”


(BIS Photos/Ulric Woodside)

Bahamas News

Bahamas Development Bank Launches 50th Anniversary Celebrations  



Nassau Bahamas, 3 March 2024- The Bahamas Development Bank (BDB) recently commenced its golden anniversary celebrations with special church services held at Freeport Bible Church and Golden Gates Native Baptist Church, in Grand Bahama and New Providence respectively. Both services marked the beginning of a year filled with commemorations of the bank’s 50 years of financial service and national development.

Bahamas Development Bank Managing Director, Nicholas Higgs, said, “As we launch our 50th anniversary celebrations, we are reminded of our journey fueled by an unwavering commitment to our country. As we look forward to the next 50 years and beyond, we remain dedicated to fostering economic growth, supporting local entrepreneurs, and building a prosperous future for The Bahamas.”

The New Providence service was led by Pastor Alonso Hinsey Jr., who serves not only as the senior pastor of Golden Gates Native Baptist Church but also as an executive at BDB. In his sermon, Pastor Hinsey emphasized the importance of trusting God and being trustworthy as two sides of the same coin.

“Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship and our relationship with God is no exception. When we trust God, we believe who He says that He is, what He is going to do, and that He will do what He says He will do. We rely on Him to guide us, protect us, and to provide for us. Being trustworthy is just as important. When we are trustworthy, others can rely on us to keep our promises, can rely on us to tell the truth, and act with integrity.”

He referenced the story of God ordering Abraham to sacrifice his promised son Isaac.

“Trust is not easy when facing challenges. However, even in the midst of our doubts and fears, God is faithful and trustworthy.  When we are trustworthy, others know they can rely on us and that they will not be let down. When we are trustworthy, we are reflecting the character of God who faithful and true,” Pastor Hinsey added.

Hinsey also stressed that, “Trustworthiness is essential for building strong relationships and creating a just and harmonious society.”

The Bahamas Development Bank has been instrumental in providing financial solutions and expertise to Bahamian businesses and entrepreneurs, driving economic growth and sustainability across the country. The 50th anniversary marks a significant milestone in the bank’s history and will be marked by a variety of events, including community outreach initiatives, competitions, and celebrations that both reflect on the bank’s past accomplishments and outline its way forward.

Pastor Hinsey’s powerful message can be viewed at


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Bahamas News

Abaco Hurricane Shelter ‘progressing’ despite inherited delays



Bahamas Information Services

March 3, 2024

Central Pines, ABACO, The Bahamas – The new, State-of-the-Art Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre currently under construction in Central Pines, Abaco, is scheduled to be fully completed by November 2024, despite some inherited delays.

Contractors add that the dual Shelter/Community Centre, which is anticipated to be a prototype for the future design and construction of shelters in The Bahamas, will have an “occupied date” of early summer, meaning that the facility should be available to host those persons requiring assistance at that time, if the need arises.  This is good news as the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.  Abaconians will continue to have access to a host of other approved shelters throughout the island, and not just rely on the prototype alone, however.

Disaster Risk Management officials further say the dual Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre will be “one of a kind” in the region in terms of its construction and design. The building is being constructed under “a new building code,” that calls for its structure – doors, window, roof — to withstand hurricane force winds of up to 250 miles per hour (Category 5 Hurricane and higher).

Its mechanical systems are designed to accommodate diverse loads, including an industrial kitchen, communication systems, air-conditioning system, male and female bathrooms and showers, office spaces for emergency personnel, in addition to storage areas.

Standby generators to ensure continuity with communications, water, sewerage, air-conditioning, refrigeration, safety and security, will be installed in order to mitigate the impacts of disruptions in power.

A ramp that was not included in the original design, was added to allow persons with disabilities and the elderly — considered two of the more vulnerable populations particularly during natural disasters such as tropical storms and/or hurricanes — easy frontal access to the facility under the protection of a canopy.

“Construction is going very well, particularly now that we are back on schedule,” said Mr. Chris Symonette, Project Manager. “We had lost almost a year due to some faults that we found in the ground, and in the foundation, we met in place when we assumed responsibility for the project. These corrective measures took us about 9 months to resolve.

“The building is one of a kind in the region. As a matter of fact, this will be the first 250 miles-per-hour hurricane shelter design in The Bahamas. We had to exceed the ratings while ensuring that we have redundancy upon redundancy,” Mr. Symonette added.

Raeh Williams, a Director, with Wilkem Solutions, a Bahamian-owned entity that specializes in development, civil works and waste management, among other services, said the construction team has been “pushing every day” to ensure that they meet the projected dates. The company took over construction operations a little over one year ago.

“We met a lot of challenges that were a real test of our skill and tenacity because there were caves, holes and a lot of other issues that basically caused us to have to perform a lot of corrective work to get us where we are today. The scheduled completion date is November 2024, but we are anticipating having an occupied completion by June/July which is right at the beginning of the Hurricane Season so that if there is some need to use the shelter, it will be available. That is our push and we are pushing every day to make sure that we stick to that.”



Header: Minister Lundy and delegation reviewing building plans for the multi-purpose Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre. (BIS Photo)

1st insert: Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre Project Manager Chris Symonette (right) updates Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Disaster Risk Management, the Hon. Leon Lundy (second right) during State-Minister Lundy’s Official Visit.  (BIS Photo)

2nd insert: Minister Lundy (second right) and team conduct a walk-through of the multi-purpose Abaco Hurricane Shelter and Community Centre under construction in Central Pines.  Also pictured (from left) are: Mr. Kirk Cornish, Member of Parliament, North Abaco, and Mr. John H. Pinder, Member of Parliament for South and Central Abaco and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation.  Project Manager, Mr. Chris Symonette is at far right. (BIS Photo)

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Bahamas News

Over 9.6 Million Tourists for The Bahamas, 38 percent jump



Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

#TheBahamas, March 3, 2024 – The Bahamas has again positioned itself as a top destinations within the Caribbean with record breaking tourism arrivals in 2023, an unprecedented milestone as announced by the Ministry of Tourism Investments and Aviation

A massive 9,654,838 visitors arrived in The Bahamas, indicating a 38 percent increase from 2022 as well as 33 percent rise from the previous record of 2019, before the pandemic.

Delving into the details of this surge in arrivals, air arrivals increased by 17 percent with 1,719,980 visitors up from 1,470, 244 in 2022.

Cruise arrivals went up significantly by 43.5 percent at 7, 934,858 up from 5,530,462 in 2022.

According to reports, New Providence saw 4,441,540 visitors, a 36 percent increase from 2022 while Grand Bahama attracted 559,812 visitors, a 44 percent increase.

The Family Islands brought in 4,653,486 tourists which is a 40 percent increase from 2022.

Chester Cooper, Minister of Tourism Investments and Aviation and Latia Duncombe, Director General of Tourism, as featured in reports, expressed great pride in this achievement, marking it as an indicator of The Bahamas’ hard work and dedication to foster and maintain tourism growth.

“This record-breaking year is a clear indication of the Bahamas’ position as a top-tier destination for travelers seeking unparalleled experiences. Our islands offer a unique blend of natural beauty, rich culture, and warm hospitality, making it a favorite of visitors from around the world,” said Cooper

Duncombe referred to future success for The Bahamas, with this development as a stepping stone.

“With our commitment to excellence and innovation in the tourism sector, the Bahamas is poised for even greater success in the years to come,” she maintained.

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