Minister of Labor Emil Lee, accompanied by several members of the Council of Ministers, recently attended a site tour organized by Bouygues Construction, the general contractor of the Diamond and Flamingo resorts. The tour was an opportunity for Minister Lee to see first-hand the recent hired graduates of the skills training program initiated by the Ministry of VSA, assess the safety and health regulations in the workplace, which also fall under the inspectorate of VSA and the implementation of the incidental permit policy requirements.
Securing labor opportunities for locals is also a fundamental objective of the Ministry of VSA. “It was very nice to meet some of the skills training graduates now employed and working on these sites. Making use of the skills they acquired at NIPA.” With Government supporting the speedy recovery of the economy, Minister Lee stated that the rebuilding of the country should always include local participation in order for the country and people to truly benefit. Hotel and Timeshare properties are coming back online and this is important for more local employment in the hospitality industry to be secured.
The Ministry of VSA supports the recovery of the economy and has been facilitating the construction sector’s demands for workers. Through local labor, retraining of local labor and with the establishment of the incidental permit policy for foreign skilled laborers. Bouygues Construction was one of the companies that made use of the Incidental permit policy. The policy required that housing be provided for the workers that is not sourced from the local housing market, in order to not cause any displacement of locals nor drive-up residential rental prices because of the demand. “Bouygues certified in their application process that housing would be provided onsite and so this was an opportunity for me to actually see what the living conditions were and how this was arranged in terms of hygiene as well.”
The Ministry of VSA is available to support companies in adhering to the applicable laws through by providing them with information and assisting with hiring local workers. Minister Lee stated that he was informed about a compliance check recently undertaken by the general contractor. This included all company staff, sub-contractors and their staff. Those that did not meet the compliance check, which include properly documented workers, were asked to leave the site.
The Inspectorate of VSA has an ongoing campaign to strengthen workplace safety and health (OSH). Minister Lee was very interested to see how these regulations were being applied on the construction site. Companies interested in more information on the campaign or compliance regulations should contact the Inspectorate for Ministry VSA, at Vineyard Office Park or via telephone number 721-520-3926.