Director of Labour, Robert Farquharson spoke with ZNS News about the impact of the Ministry of Labour and Immigration’s Labour On The Blocks initiative where labour officials carry out job fairs in various neighbourhoods in the country.
Explaining how the initiative came about Farquharson said, “I was reassigned to the portfolio of Director of Labour in September of 2021. Upon that I say you know something, we need to reinvigorate this program. In 2021 right after COVID-19 a lot of unemployment, a lot of people lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19. We shouldn’t wait for these people to come to us let’s take it to the people. So we wrote to the Ministry of Education, we wrote to community organizations, we wrote to churches, we said we want to find a way to meet the people. Pastors says this is a wonderful idea, bring it to our communities. So on March 7th, 2021, we launched the first Labour On The Blocks at Columbus Primary School, Wulff Rd.
He continued saying, “the government is committed to filling these vacancies with Bahamians that are available. Section 86 of the Employment Act says that the Department of Labour should not issue a labour certificate if they are satisfied there is a qualified and available Bahamian to fill that job and many times people have come to us carrying on and arguing because we deny applications.”
In addition to Labour On The Blocks, the Department of Labour has also introduced other initiatives including Labour On The Campus for high school seniors and a job clothing drive.