Economy Minister Patrice Minors. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Economy Minister Patrice Minors. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, FEB. 24: A total of $30.5 million has been allocated to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, according to Budget estimates.

The figure is up $748,000 on the previous year (three per cent) and will include the costs of the Department of Labour and Training.

Economy Minister Patrice Minors said some of the money would be spent on the creation of the one-stop job centre, which will be housed in the former Magistrates’ Court on Parliament Street, Hamilton.

She said spending would be targeted at recent high school and college graduates, lower-skilled adults, as well as adults with trades or professions looking for a job or a career change.

Ms Minors said: “Our aim is to help these groups reinvent themselves so they are ‘job-ready’ to work within the current job market.”

She added that Government had signed a deal with a US firm to help set up a Bermuda Job Corps, with training due to start next week.

Ms Minors added that she intended to let the international sector know that Bermuda was welcoming and “open for business”.

She said she had recently approved the first ten-year work permit application – a sign that the offshore sector had confidence in the island.

Ms Minors said: “It is expected that work permit processing procedures will be overhauled to effect a more rapid processing and response time in our efforts to better meet the needs of the business community.”