Cab Sec gives details of gov’t ‘special employment program’ after Maria

Ferrol gave information on the program on Monday

Cabinet Secretary, Steve Ferrol, has provided more information on what he described as a “special employment program” in the wake of Hurricane Maria initiated by the government and announced by Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, last week.

Ferrol said the program targets “personal job holders made redundant, displaced or otherwise out of a job as a result of Hurricane Maria” and will be for both the public and private sectors.

Last week Skerrit announced that 1,100 jobs will be created by the program to assist those affected by the devastating category five hurricane that ravaged the island in September 2017.

Ferrol explained on Monday morning that special supervision of the program “will remain under the portfolio of the Prime Minister and it will be administered through the cabinet secretary and under the general supervision of the Secretary to the Cabinet.”

He said the program is transitional, will be operated for a period of six months in the first instance and is expected to be up and running on March 1.

“The program itself should explore all job opportunities within the public sector and the private sector including opportunities within the firms and agencies that may have made the very persons redundant purely based on its inability to pay,” Ferrol stated. “Every effort will be made to refer all applicants who fall outside the scope of this program to other available government-provided opportunities.”

He noted that initial staffing will be for public officers who will be reassigned and allocated within the program.

Ferrol added that the program will first develop and update a listing of all redundancies and layoffs of workers as a result of the impact of Maria on businesses and agencies. It will research all possible jobs available and keep under review the listing of the job opportunities.

“In the private sector, the special focus will be on opportunities available on the companies and agencies from which the people were made redundant where the only reason is based on the company’s or agency’s ability to pay, where opportunities are available but at a future date, the job placement can be of a temporary nature up until the availability of the new positions,” he explained. “Focus will be placed on job openings as a result of new investments and expansion in existing businesses.”

He said in the public sector priority will be given to programs mainly involved in rebuilding after the storm.

“Some of the projects in key sectors such as housing, renovation and reconstruction, resilient agriculture, tourism, commerce, small business, social services, shelter management, clean up and infrastructural works, all will create opportunities for new jobs, new placements, though many may be of a temporary nature,” Ferrol pointed out. “Government may also have opportunities through projects sponsored by donor agencies and many have had the opportunities to work with donor agencies as we compliment some of government’s existing program. And these too will provide avenues for opening.”

He noted that those with creative self-employment ideas who come to the program will be referred to the “small business and other government programs.”

Ferrol pointed out that the enrollment process is simple with applicants making available evidence of redundancy “where that is possible.”

“Some people may have letters – the nature of the letters might help us decide whether there is potential for rehiring at the same firm depending on the drafting and nature of the redundancy letter,” he remarked. “Some may even have WhatsApp messages. I understand some people were dismissed through WhatsApp messages. So any evidence you have that may assist the officers, assisting with the enrollment would be appreciated.”

He said evidence of skill and qualification will be needed for placement in the best possible job although the job may not be equivalent to what was held before.

“If there is a confirmation of possible continued power, that would be appreciated as this will help us to contact the previous job provider or agency or company to discuss displacement,” Ferrol stated, adding that information provided by applicants must be accurate as best as possible.

He said an office for the program is expected to be located in the Financial Center and a telephone number and more information will be made available in the next couple of days.

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32 Comments

  1. Neverson St jean
    January 23, 2018

    Why is it under the portfolio of the PM, isn’t there a minister responsible for labor

  2. Bird eye view
    January 23, 2018

    is it that the so called intelligent people of this country will allow it to go down and then try to fix it, the truth is those of you who can run will run but what about those who can’t? like it or not if you guys seat by and allow this regime to continue in this manner not even the PM will be comfortable in his old days.

  3. fed up
    January 23, 2018

    whats with all the criticism gosh man

  4. grand bay
    January 23, 2018

    This extract epitomises everything that is wrong with the system and this new 2.0 version of the NEP

    According to Steve Ferrol

    “Some people may have letters – the nature of the letters might help us decide whether there is potential for rehiring at the same firm depending on the drafting and nature of the redundancy letter,” he remarked. “Some may even have WhatsApp messages. I understand some people were dismissed through WhatsApp messages. So any evidence you have that may assist the officers, assisting with the enrollment would be appreciated.”

    He said evidence of skill and qualification will be needed for placement in the best possible job although the job may not be equivalent to what was held before.

  5. Gregory
    January 23, 2018

    the private sector, the special focus will be on opportunities available on the companies and agencies from which the people were made redundant where the only reason is based on the company’s or agency’s ability to pay, where opportunities are available but at a future date, the job placement can be of a temporary nature up until the availability of the new positions”

    So the 150 people who were made redundant at Ross university at portsmouth, Mr skerite is going to pay Ross to have you work on the compound where there is no activity taking place until Ross university comes back.. wow.. does he know that persons most of the people who were made redundant is as a result of lack of work to be done and there is no need to hire all those people, and is not just inability to pay workers, but as a result of lower production.. the only way a business can hire more people there must be work for people to do..

    So sKerite goin to pay people to sit in businessess and do nothing..

  6. Trevor Fabien
    January 23, 2018

    The statement below is what is wrong with Dominica. Need I say anymore

    According to Steve Ferrol

    “Some people may have letters – the nature of the letters might help us decide whether there is potential for rehiring at the same firm depending on the drafting and nature of the redundancy letter,” he remarked. “Some may even have WhatsApp messages. I understand some people were dismissed through WhatsApp messages. So any evidence you have that may assist the officers, assisting with the enrollment would be appreciated.

    Persons getting made redundant via Whatsapp, Whats up with that? Oh my days, where are the labour laws

  7. Ibo France
    January 22, 2018

    This ‘new’ program is geared strictly for redundant workers. The unemployed persons, pre Maria, have no chance of procuring any of these jobs because of the criteria. What really is being done to stimulate real economic activity in order to shrink the rapidly growing unemployment rate? Every cent of every donor has to be manipulated by the PM’s office for political advantageousness. I would like to see a very vigorous, robust and serious attempt to promote agriculture and agro-processing, light manufacturing, and a burgeoning local entrepreneurship. Incentivize the young and not so young people by tapping into the creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit that is bottled up inside of them. The slow footed response to the people’s plight is aggravating an already onerous situation.

    • January 23, 2018

      So the people must do nothing nothing to help themselves? All the government has to do is to create the enabling environment so that business can grow. Grants to farmers, financial assistance to hoteliers, duty free concessions are all activities aimed at creating that enabling environment.

  8. ‘Abracadabra’ Nation
    January 22, 2018

    I don’t know what Skerrit meant by ‘Abracadabra’ but whatever he meant it is quite clear they have made our once isle of beauty, isle of splendor an ‘Abracadabra’ nation, with an ‘Abracadabra’ government, an ‘Abracadabra’ Cabinet that can only do ‘Abracadabra’ things. Dominica is lost maybe for good, if we don’t get rid of that ‘Abracadabra’ mentality. Dominica is now the ‘Abracadabra’ country of the world, thanks to Roosevelt Skerrit and his ‘Abracadabra’ vision

    • indira Ghandi
      January 22, 2018

      But how the geck Skerrit aants to control everything.
      why should such an ofcice be at the Financial center.
      is it for him to employ his stooges??
      I wonder if our country is included amo g the S——–hole countries

    • I Care
      January 22, 2018

      Did you not read his article? Some people expect that the funds will be received immediately. Words to that effect. He has to prepare forms and send them to the prospective donors to satisfy them that the money will be used for the intended purpose. In addition, they will not send the full amount. Later he has to prepare more forms to send to them as to the progress of the projects. If it satisfies them he will receive the rest of the money. These people will not issue a cheque or whatever and send all the promised funds.
      Some of you must use your head/intelligence, if you have the latter. You must cease being negative. It is not helpful to anyone.
      Have you never heard the word Abracadabra? Surely if you have watched TV you would have heard it. It is a gibberish magic word; magic spell used to ensure the supposed success of a magic trick; a supposedly magical charm or spell This is why the PM used it because of what some of you said.
      Do better than that.

    • Grand bay
      January 23, 2018

      Very creative writing, Loved it :) :lol: :lol:

    • Me
      January 23, 2018

      And he is fixing it with hocus pocus!

  9. January 22, 2018

    My proposal is as follows: open a Trade School to train carpenters, plumbers, construction workers, electricians etc. Put them in school for about 6 to 9 months. During that time u put them to do apprenticeship then back in the classroom for finals. Finals will consist of written and practical. Skeritt said we have to build 7000 homes. Clearly we don’t have a ready workforce to support such a massive undertaking. It’s going to be about 9 months before they would be required anyhow. These candidates would come from the unemployed as well as NEW. Also a similar program can be put in place for farming and forestry. Reforestation is a massive and worth while task. I am sure we could attract additional donor funds for such well structured program. We could attract master craftsmen both here and abroad to teach/school these individuals

    • January 22, 2018

      NEW should read NEP

    • Mother
      January 23, 2018

      Didn’t we have the Dupigny college for that and who closed that institution? Wasitnot mr. Skerrit himself when he waseducstio Minister?

  10. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    January 22, 2018

    Ferrol, explain in detail what sort of special employment you  are talking about?

    At this time; unless you and Skerrit are going to clean up debris  left by Maria, which by now there should not be any left, the other paying jobs should be via the rebuilding process, people repairing their homes, and that would not be the business of the government, that would be a private matter!

    Now if this is simply another early election bribe and cheap political say so; some are gullible, and can be easily fooled the rest of us are able to identify politics when it rises it ugly head!

  11. Southpark
    January 22, 2018

    Skerite how long will u continue to run the country to ground? Boss thats not job creation … u taking the same businesses that made people redundant… what about create new jobe? ? Open a bloody factory or something that can employ people in some real job.. how long will these 1100 be employed? ?? So after you goin to make them redundant again after election pass? You people been there for 18 years and nothing nothing nothing u have done for the people but get rich.. young peopel need jobs.. I donot know what caliber of people keep putting you people back in office…

  12. My bad
    January 22, 2018

    Oh what Ferrol said today is their definition of the Abragadaba word Skerrit used last week. I mean is pure Abragadaba that makes no sense. They just exposing their incompetence at a time when Dominica is in serious trouble. If they creating so many jobs with CBI money, where was that money hiding? Maria exposed them and forced them to use passport money

  13. Malatete
    January 22, 2018

    As I speak Winair of St.Maarten operates two flights per week between that island and Haiti, the passengers being mainly Haitians working in St. Maarten They use a wet leased Airbus A320 with a 186 seating capacity. This suggests to me that there is a lively movement of labour between the two islands. Why don’t we encourage our own unemployed to seek work in places like St. Maarten. Instead of our government having to pay them they would generate valuable foreign exchange for their families in Dominica.

  14. Laplaine Observer
    January 22, 2018

    Folks, if you read this so-called special employment program, it’s simply a joke. Keep in mind, “He noted that initial staffing will be for public officers who will be reassigned and allocated within the program.” For the private sector he said, “In the private sector, the special focus will be on opportunities available on the companies and agencies from which the people were made redundant where the ONLY reason is based on the company’s or agency’s ability to pay.” My people! this is NOT job creation when you’re only reassigning public officers and trying to see if companies will basically rehire existing employees. Nothing is being said to address the 26% unprecedented high unemployment rate that this incompetent administration created during the past 14 years in power.

    • UKDominican
      January 22, 2018

      So in essence government is going to subsidise the private sector, by lowering their employment bill and allow them to make more profits? People like the Astaphans are going to love you!

      • Paul Rossnof
        January 23, 2018

        That’s what it boils down to in a nutshell. I have never met a person that is more clueless than our PM. He is completely out of his depth.

  15. Ras
    January 22, 2018

    The first two comments appearing here reflect the negative frame of mind of so many of the readers who take the trouble to respond! I am certain that other naysayers will have their fingers busy offering all sorts of negative comments on an initiative which will address concerns of hundreds of citizens who have been let jobless in the wake of Maria.
    I say to PM Skerrit and his cabinet colleagues : “great initiative, and thank God that funds generated by the CBI program have made it possible “!

    • Shaka Zulu
      January 22, 2018

      Hurricanw Maria is not tbe cause of Dominica joblessness. All it has done is exposed and magnified bad policy that exist and made worst by a knee jerk reaction. I am critical of our government while offering alternative because for 14 years we have done nothing to encourage sustainable job growth now we have a passport selling scheme paying for a job creation scheme. The devil is in the details. This is NEP on drugs. An old recycled plan call Somthing else. If crude oil in Venezuela hit rock bottom crippling the country don’t you think lile every other commodity passports will devalue and worth nothing? My question is then what? Crap is crap no matter where and from whom it originated. If you consider this a great initiative and you settle for less then so be it. 40 years we have been independent and this is what we have been reduced to. Selling passports. Shame on Dominica.

      • I Care
        January 22, 2018

        You should not blame the government, the PM for joblessness and everyone one of them prior to Hurricane Maria. You must first know everyone who is jobless. How many completed elementary school and high school for that matter? If they were employed prior to Hurricane Maria, why are they unemployed? I am not referring to Hurricane Maria and its aftermath which created unemployment.
        You must also use your intelligence in this matter, if you have any. Some people’s comments lack intelligence and any sort of feasible suggestion. They only criticize and are negative. This is not helpful whatsoever.
        Let us be positive and provide encouragement to the government. Hurricane Maria gave Dominica a devastating blow. Fortunately many are alive today and their house is still up, even though there is tarpaulin on the roof.
        The PM is doing his utmost to assist Dominicans. Based on circumstances, I would not want to be in his situation. Take time and be patient.

    • I Care
      January 22, 2018

      I endorse your comment.

  16. blokay
    January 22, 2018

    Patch work. Expensive patch work also. The real goal and purpose will be actualized in the end. What that is, well you all will have to just wait and see.

  17. Josie
    January 22, 2018

    it would be nice to pay those from the NEP program who were displaced after Maria and never got paid.

  18. Rose Thomas
    January 22, 2018

    Dear DNO

    Please publish Sunday’s sermon from Monsignor Jni-Lewus, as this is the only credible release from Dominica.

    Thanks

    ADMIN: We publish it whenever it is available.

  19. Same old same old
    January 22, 2018

    Ferrol explained on Monday morning that special supervision of the program “will remain under the portfolio of the Prime Minister and it will be administered through the cabinet secretary and under the general supervision of the Secretary to the Cabinet.”

    This is nothing more than the same old …. and propaganda we have gotten accustomed to. Same players, same team, same venue, same umpires so expect the same old corrupt result that has failed us for 18 years now.

    Skerrit said he going to create 1100 new jobs but according to Ferrol “the program targets “personal job holders made redundant, displaced or otherwise out of a job as a result of Hurricane Maria”. So what about the thousands that did not have a job before Maria and this time they have nothing to turn to? More Red Clinic or more misery? Those made redundant by Maria had a job and most likely were able to pay some bills and some received a package with their redundancy. But what about those that had nothing to?

  20. Shaka Zulu
    January 22, 2018

    In times of crisis a country needs steady honest men and women who will accept thier shortcomings and change for the better. Overnight schemes to give the impression that there are new jobs created by government will lead to ome thing. Pressure on public purse. Which private sector in thier right mind will allow gov to dictate to them when to hire when that should be determined based on profits and growth. We have a port that is beyond capacity and the gov cannot find an alternative to get goods in and out faster. What are they doing to ensure Ross returns? The longer the critical infrastructure stays inadequate the more businesses are going to cripple. I pray we do not get another storm that bad in under 10 years for the Dominica sake. Government jobs are a cost of operating the country. With lethargic tax revenue and unattractive investment climate CBI will have to chage to PS ( passport Selling). Gov will finally have agri boom on Passpot farm. Ferrol why you enable such nonsense?

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