Lack of specialised construction workers

Peter David
Peter David

by Linda Straker

  • Lack of specialised construction workers in Grenada
  • Qualified plumbers and skilled carpenters among workers needed within the construction industry
  • Government earned more than EC$1.1 million from work permits for the first 6 months of 2018

Labour Minister Peter David said that there is a lack of specialised construction workers in Grenada and as a result government has no choice but to grant work permits to construction companies, so they can import the required labour to fill the gap.

“There is a massive amount of construction taking place both in residential and commercial properties, and a lot of those buildings are hotel developments that require specialised services. These hotels, especially when it comes to finishing work need the specialised skilled workers because the services they are offering is part of the certified quality work expected for these projects,” he said.

“These hotels that come in, and the quality of persons they are asking for is sometimes beyond the persons we have, so we have ourselves — even with high unemployment on the one hand — unable to deliver work to the locals because we don’t have the skilled labour these construction companies are requesting,” he said.

“The applications for work permits indicate that we need to get our people together to make use of the opportunities that are available, and there are opportunities available especially for specialised construction workers, we want our young to understand that and make use of the opportunities that are available for learning and improving their skills,” said David.

Without proving examples of the type of specialised construction workers, David told the House that plumbers and skilled carpenters are two of the occupations within the construction industry which need qualified workers.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell recently told a group of workers whose jobs involve providing products for the construction industry, that the industry recorded a 40% increase in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year. In the previous year, the increase was 18%, and that was big, but this year, the increase is massive.

As of result of the increased requests for works permit in the specialised construction market, government was able to earn more than EC$1.1 million for the first 6 months of 2018. Under the ministry’s guidelines, a Caricom worker work permit will cost EC$1,000 — though there are some exceptions for persons in the entertainment business; a Commonwealth worker work permit will cost EC$3,000 and outside of the Commonwealth, it will be EC$5,000 per person.

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