PHILIPSBURG–Persons operating in the construction industry will be able to give feedback on the current state of affairs of the reconstruction process and on issues such as their anticipated labour needs and how the sector can be improved, during a construction sector stakeholder consultation meeting at the Government Building scheduled for 4:00pm March 19.
Issues such as the incidental employment permit procedure, tender opportunities and Government compliance issues will also be discussed.
Labour Minister Emil Lee told reporters on Wednesday that he has received feedback from the community that the construction process is beginning to slow down, which can have an impact on the incidental labour policy that was instituted months ago, whereby one-time permits are being given for specific projects related to the construction sector.
Anyone operating in the construction industry can attend the meeting, including owners and managers of construction companies, building supply companies, air conditioning repair officials and other persons in the industry.
“We want to get feedback on how they see the reconstruction process going, what are their anticipated needs for labour, is there a shortage of labour on the island, … the challenges they are finding with Government in terms of bottlenecks, and what can we as Government do to streamline that process,” Lee said.
Lee also said the meeting would provide an opportunity to explain to the construction sector what are some of the upcoming tender projects via the World Bank-administered Trust Fund. He said there were many projects, but there is usually little local participation. “What we see is that the local participation isn’t as robust as we would like it to be. We will explain how the process works, but also look to get feedback on this. Is the process inviting? Too complicated?”
The participation of Social and Health Insurances SZV to give information on compliance and expectations in relation to the construction sector will be confirmed at a later date. Lee said he would also like to hear feedback from the construction sector on their experience with SZV procedures.
Interested persons can contact the Cabinet of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Affairs VSA via telephone number +1-721-520-2767.