The Grand Bahama Shipyard is dedicated to training more Bahamians effectively and have demonstrated a capacity to invest in Grand Bahama through human resources and the expansion of the facility, said Prime Minister Perry Christie.
The prime minister made this statement during His Excellency David Granger, President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana and Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) official state visit to Grand Bahama on Friday (March 3).
The President visited several locations on the island, including Hugh W. Campbell Primary School, the Freeport Container Port, the Grand Bahama Shipyard and St. Georges’ High School, where The Bahamas National High School Basketball Championship opening ceremony took place.
Christie noted that he wanted to introduce the island as the industrial capital of The Bahamas.
He said that in countries like The Bahamas, it is a challenge to integrate industry with creating more opportunities for Bahamians to participate and be a part of development.
“This represents sophisticated work in different phases and different stages of repair,” Christie added.
He noted that the government would observe the company’s training programs and the apprentices involved in those programs.
“I said to them, well if you can do this for 12 a year what happens if I give you the resources to add a further 12,” he said.
Christie said he along with the Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Fred Mitchell, met with the company and came up with a ‘magnificent’ plan.
Christie revealed that the Grand Bahama Port Authority agreed to replace over 200 ex-patriot workers at the Shipyard every year for three years.
“The government would make a contribution of $2 million a year and they would match that contribution,” he said.
Linda Turnquest, Chief Financial Officer at the Grand Bahama Shipyard welcomed the special guests in the absence of Chief Executive Officer, Steven Jervis.
She also led the presentation for President Granger by giving some background information on the company.
“The name Grand Bahama Shipyard is synonymous with quality work and respect for deadlines,” she said.
Granger stated that The Bahamas is a very important element in the Caribbean community.
He noted that the country makes use of its geographical location as well as the talents of its people, to provide employment and to play a role in the global environment.
“This is an important lesson for Guyana and for us in other Caribbean states in the community, we are all affected by the unemployment of young people,” he said.
He noted that globalization has forced the Caribbean to transform and the Shipyard is a good example of how that transformation to a modern economy can take place within the global economy.
Granger finally stated that the Caribbean is not a region to be dismissed, because the people and future generations have a role to play in the global economy.
The other special guests accompanying Christie and Granger on the tour included Guyana Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carl Greenridge; Guyana Minister of Agriculture, Noel Holder; Guyana Minister of Investments, Dominic Gaskins; Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Fred Mitchell; Minister of Tourism, Obediah Wilchcombe; Minister of Youth Sport and Culture, Daniel Johnson; Minister for Grand Bahama Michael Darville; Permanent Secretary of Grand Bahama Melvin Seymour; District Superintendent for Grand Bahama, Bimini and the Cays Mary Cooper and other Ministry of Education officials, and Administrators for the East Grand Bahama, Harvey Roberts; West Grand Bahama Brenda Colebrooke and Freeport Preston Cunningham. Ian Rolle President of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) and Sarah St. George Vice Chairman of the GBPA also participated in the tour.
Published Tuesday, March 7, 2017