The Bahamas Government has launched an electronic Labour Skills Bank.
Minister of State for Finance, Sen. the Hon. James Smith, says the fast track initiative will have tremendous impact on the Bahamian community on both the individual and corporate levels. Using technology to improve and modernise processing at the Labour Exchange, the system also will provide government with up-to-date labour force data for analysis of labour market conditions.
Minister Smith further notes that the launch was timely, in light of the current period of economic expansion spearheaded by direct investments in the tourism and tourism-related sectors throughout the islands. He anticipates that these investments will create a demand for a variety of jobs and potential employees and employers will now be able to engage with each other via an electronic Skills Bank. Describing it as one of the more significant and practical components of the Bahamas Government Online (BGOL) initiative, Minister Smith said the Skills Bank also will help answer the International Labour Organisation’s call to regional countries to develop strategies to address the issue of unemployment.
The Hon. Shane Gibson, Labour & Immigration Minister, points out that the new service will enable Bahamians of all walks of life to register skills, while at the same time enabling employers to list vacancies at the Department of Labour. He notes that the Skills Bank should also assist potential investors with information needed for their planning processes. Referring particularly to work permit applications, the Minister says he is faced with the challenge of providing permits to expatriate workers, not necessarily because of the unavailability of qualified Bahamians, but because available qualified Bahamians have not registered with the Department of Labour.
The Bahamas Government Online project seeks to provide citizens with greater access to government information and services. It is anticipated that BGOL ultimately will re-engineer business processes within and across government to improve efficiency in government administration by adopting a “whole of government” approach.
Using the Skills Data Bank, persons can list their qualifications and skills, as well as search for jobs and qualifications posted by employers.