The Government of Grenada is undertaking a major initiative in the St Patrick area, which is expected to decrease the unemployment rate in that parish and, by extension, Grenada.
Making his contribution to the 2018 budget on 30 November, the Parliamentary Representative for St Patrick West, Hon Anthony Boatswain, said the development is expected to bring real benefits to young people in Grenada.
“This Government has taken the bold decision to purchase a 3-storey furniture factory building, owned by the Mc Leish family and mortgaged to the Grenada Development Bank, and it has been agreed, Mr Speaker, that this furniture factory, that is located in the Mt Rich/Snell Hall area, will be transformed into a national centre for skill training for our people.
Mr Speaker – a national centre, but even more, it will be used as a national centre for the production and repair of all furniture required in our schools throughout Grenada, Mr Speaker, and we know that the demand for school furniture is a million-dollar-plus business. Therefore, we are looking at a productive enterprise and not one that will be dependent on government’s subsistence, Mr Speaker,” he said.
A training programme will begin soon, targeting more than 60 young people, many of whom will be employed at the facility, which could begin operations early in 2018.
Additionally, Hon Boatswain said, “The potential spinoff, Mr Speaker, is great, because we are talking about furniture making for schools; we’re talking about logging; we’re talking about transportation; we’re talking about actual production; we’re talking about marketing, so many activities; so many spin-offs. Mr Speaker, from an activity like that I anticipate hundreds of jobs, but I do not want to be selfish, the centre will not be only for St Patrick, it will be a national training centre, so anyone, from any part of Grenada, wishing to be trained in the modern art of furniture-making, will be able to come to that centre, right there in Mt Rich, Mr Speaker.”
With all that will be put in place by government, Minister Boatswain said he expects unemployment to decrease below the 20% mark.