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Government to Focus On Creating Jobs for the Citizens of Saint Lucia


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Contact: Jacques Hinkson Compton



Wednesday, May 09, 2012 – Creating jobs for the men and women of the nation has been cited as the number one priority of Government's plans to boost the island's economy.   This was disclosed during Prime Minister Honourable Dr. Kenny Anthony as he delivered his Budget presentation on Tuesday evening May 8th 2012.  


 Dr. Anthony indicated that during this initial period of the fiscal year the government would support several initiatives aimed at tackling the high unemployment rate of 21.2 percent especially among the youth.


Dealing with the issue of unemployment, government will institute and utilize several measures.  “First, given the extent of economic marginalization associated with the high unemployment rates, we will provide immediate relief for some of the most severely affected, by providing short term employment through programmes that I will describe later in my address.    Secondly, we will create opportunities for sustained employment in the long term, by implementing a number of programmes and initiatives, including arrangements in partnership with the private sector.    Mr. Speaker, the Government proposes to tackle unemployment by the following targeted measures:

1. The introduction of the JOBS;

2. The Single Mothers Employment Programme (SMILES);

3. The Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP);

4. Support for the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurship Programme (YAEP); and

5. The continuation of the Short Term Employment Programme (STEP).”


During the address it was noted that a goal of the government would be to offer support to small businesses in sustaining their current level of employment as well as creating more employment, provide employment skills to single mothers in need. In addition, the Youth Agricultural programme, a project pioneered by the former administration would receive support of over 1 million EC dollars from the CARICOM Development Fund and the government of Saint Lucia.




Among the many other initiatives proposed was a program labelled the National Initiative to Create Employment (NICE). This program is intended to facilitate many of the various programmes for employment.


The Prime Minister took the time during his address to further explain the initiative of the NICE programme.   “The programme will be in existence for a three (3) year period. We aim to provide sustainable opportunities for our people. In Year 1, a provision of $35.00 million dollars will support the programme.     This amount will be in addition to an allocation of $5.00 million for HOPE, $3.00 million for Koudmen Sent Lisi, and a further sum of $12 million dollars for the Constituency Development Programme. In Year1I, I propose to allocate $40 million dollars and in Year III, $25 million. During its first year of operation, it is anticipated that NICE will create and provide no less than 2200 jobs to Saint Lucians.”


Dr. Anthony explained that there will be three (3) components of the Programme:


1. A National Apprenticeship and Placement Programme (NAPP);

2. A Constituency Projects and Infrastructure Programme (CPIP); and

3. A Small Business Targeted Assistance Programme (SBTAP).


“I have no doubt that the question to be asked is how will we make these jobs available over a short period of time? Where are they coming from? To achieve this, the initial period will be led, driven, and supported by the Public Sector. The programme has been designed to create jobs that will support the work of the Government throughout the Public Service in the initial or short term period.”


Fostering the enabling environment to encourage investment in the construction sector is also a key measure which would be taken by government to not only create employment but aid the economic recovery.

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