Tourism Minister Skerritt says jobs to be created as work on projects to start soon

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Sen. the Hon. Richard Skerritt (second from the right) with other Government Ministers and other party officials on Thursday night in St. Paul’s. (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS,APRIL 27TH 2012 (CUOPM) – Minister of Tourism and International Trade, Sen. the Hon. Richard Skerritt says despite the global financial and economic crisis dozens of jobs will soon be created in the construction sector as projects continue and others coming on stream over the next few months.

Speaking at a public meeting of the governing St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party and chaired by Party Chairman Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris in St. Paul’s Thursday night, Mr. Skerritt noted although there were some layoffs in the private sector, no civil servant in the employment of the government had been sent home.

He told the large crowd that in a few weeks work will start on the renovation of the 30-year-old Frigate Bay Beach Resort which is badly in need of investment.

In another few weeks, a significant project will start at the Windsor University School of Medicine with the construction of a new lecture hall.

“Millions of dollars will be spent on that project and dozens of jobs will be created in the construction sector,” he said.

The Tourism Minister disclosed that over the next few months, a significant project will begin in Frigate Bay to build a new private hospital and a new medical school.

“Early in 2013, a new hotel will begin constructing at Banana Bay on the South East Peninsula. The Park Hyatt Hotel – a top quality brand – will begin construction,” said Mr. Skerritt who also mentioned the ongoing construction of Kittitian Hill Resort.

“It was just a few years ago that opposition People’s Action Movement was saying that Kittitian Hill was impossible and could not happen. Progress continues in this country,” said Skerritt.

Mr. Skerritt noted that work is also continuing on the private jet terminal at the Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw International Airport.

“Already over 40 people are employed there and that project is coming out of the ground already by the local contractor Lennox Warner and Partners,” said Minister Skerritt.

He also disclosed that in the next few years, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine will undertake an expansion programme.

“Progress continues in this country. This progress is not without difficulties and the government cannot be as generous as it used to be in subsidizing some of the services to the public,” said Minister Skerritt, who noted that St. Kitts and Nevis has a lot to be thankful for when compared to developments around the world and some of the difficulties in nearby Caribbean countries.

He pointed to the loss of 3,000 jobs in American Eagle in the last four years and over 30,000 civil servants in Puerto Rico also lost their jobs.

As Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Mr. Skerritt has been travelling to several Caribbean nations “and people are marveling at the success in St. Kitts and Nevis inspite of the difficult times.”

“Everywhere I go, people are asking me, how we do it in St. Kitts and Nevis, because no civil servants have been laid off. The Government has paid salaries every month on time,” said Mr. Skerritt.

He noted that although some persons have lost their jobs in the private sector in St. Kitts, the loss of one job is too many.

“Every job that gets lost, this government is busy creating conditions to help create new jobs and jobs are coming. Jobs are being created right here in St. Kitts and Nevis, not as quickly as it used to be over the last few years because of the difficult economic conditions,” said Minister Skerritt.

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