Share Email Print Font Size A A A

Patrice Minors

Embracing Bermuda's Women

The Progressive Labour Party invites the women of Bermuda to “Embracing Bermuda’s Women”, an open and frank discussion to address everyday issues relevant to everyday women in Bermuda.

This event, to be held on Thursday, December 13, from 6 to 8pm, at the National Sports Centre’s Cricket Pavilion, will feature six highly regarded and respected women in the PLP Family.

Forming the panel will be Party Leader and Premier the Hon. Paula Cox; she will be joined by General Election Candidates, Renee Ming, Lovitta Foggo, Patrice Minors, Dawn Simmons and Kim Wilson.

Topics up for discussion will be the Family, Community, Education, Employment, Safety and Empowerment.

Refreshments will be served. You are encouraged to RSVP by email to womenrockplp@gmail.com

We hope to see Bermuda's women in attendance to participate in this discussion.

Bookmark and Share

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Yesterday, Minister Patrice Minors and Minister Wayne Furbert outlined several bold ideas for creating jobs and opportunity for all Bermudians.

Minister Furbert:

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs are our number one priority, and we have a Plan that will make this happen...

The Bermuda Economy grew from $3 billion to $6 billion from 1998 – 2008, under the Progressive Labour Party Government. We did it once, and we can do it again, by creating and fostering an environment that has market driven policies, combined with sound regulations and minimal government intervention.

In 2008 the world economy slapped us in the face, and we could have cut jobs, and stopped capital expenditure, but we did not.

We continued some capital works and kept people employed, because we are not a Government that push people in the streets.

We are not standing here today talking about a promise but we are talking about action.

- The Progressive Labor Party Government has been working since mid 2011 to create an entity capable of increasing business for companies in the International Business sector.

- The entity will be empowered to sustain the businesses that are here, and to develop brand new business in areas. In particular we will focus investment and competition within the key sectors of Insurance, banking, fund management, wealth management, telecommunications, information technology and legal services..

- Partnering with stakeholders in the international sector, Business Bermuda and the Bermuda Insurance Development Council are being merged into the new Bermuda Business Development Corporation (BBDC). The BBDC will be the business development engine that will be engineered to drive business into the international sector.

- The Bermuda Government will ensure that the BBDC has the resources needed to accomplish its mission.

- This new entity, with the support of the businesses in the international sector, will succeed.

Minister Minors went on to discuss what she looks forward to accomplishing on job creation in the next term:

Getting Bermudians back to work and keeping those Bermudians with jobs, in jobs are the main priorities of this government. While others have beaten the drum for radical cuts and promoted the failed and discredited philosophy of austerity, The Progressive Labour Party has stood strong on the belief that investment in our people, our infrastructure and our communities are the best ways for our country to move forward together.

We are facing the worst global economic conditions since the Great Depression of the 1930s and while Bermuda is truly another world, we have also been affected with many of our neighbors, friends and family struggling to find work and finding it tougher and tougher to provide for their families. We believe that by investing in our people, protecting social programmes and jobs within the civil service from drastic and radical cuts we have prevented this recession from being even worse.

The PLP has:

• Introduced new Economic Empowerment Zones in the east and west
• Implemented the Payroll Tax Relief Training Scheme for apprentices
• Used the $1.15M Unemployment Fund to re-train and re-skill unemployed Bermudians
• Established an unemployment register allowing government to track and assist Bermuda’s unemployed
• Adjusted immigration policies to protect Bermudian jobs and
• Established the National Training Board skills assessment programme
• Established the Hustle Truck Programme to assist casual workers to become more skilled and active participants in the island workforce
• Created the Economic Round Table – to bring key stakeholders together to determine areas for job growth
• Started the Woodshop Training Programme
• Expanded educational opportunities for civil servants through the expansion of scholarships for mature students

A lot has been done, but as long as one qualified, capable, competent and willing Bermudian is unemployed our work remains unfinished. To get Bermudians back to work we will continue to put measures in place to stimulate the economy, remove barriers to employment, increase opportunities for Bermudians as well as retooling, retraining and re-equipping our people with the skill sets needed to find and maintain employment

Moving Forward Together, The PLP will:

• Launch the “One Stop Career Centre”
• Implement Job Corps
• Increase the lending capacity of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation
• Give more Bermudians the opportunity to seek careers in international business by expanding professional and continuing education options at the Bermuda College
• Develop a New Business Initiative through the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation
• Improve regulations surrounding the debt collection process

Our economic recovery plan is making progress. Our Economic Empowerment Zones in North Hamilton and St. George’s have helped entrepreneurs create new businesses and helped other businesses stay afloat. Times have changed and the challenges are different but we have real, responsible solutions and we understand the problems faced by our people. I ask you to stand strong with as The PLP is standing strong for Bermudians.

The PLP really does care about the people - and, we have real ideas to move this country forward and create jobs.

Bookmark and Share

What Did Dunkley Know And When Did He Know It?

Today, PLP candidate in Constituency #10 Smith's North, Patrice Minors spoke out on her opponent Michael Dunkley, and asked "What did Mr. Dunkley know about the secret plan and when did he know it?"

Minister Minors continued, "On Tuesday, Michael Dunkley told Bernews that he must have received the report by email but did not recall it. Then, less than 12 hours later, the Royal Gazette published an article from September 17th, 2009 in which Michael Dunkley spoke extensively about the report."

"So, which is it? First, Mr. Dunkley said he didn't recall receiving the email. And, less than 12 hours later, its revealed that he spoke extensively on the report in a 2009 article? It seems that Mr. Dunkley is parsing words in an effort to mislead Bermudians.

"It's time for Mr. Dunkley to come clean. He needs to appear before the Bermudian public and answer the questions: What did he know? and When did he know it?

Bermudians deserve leaders who will be honest and forthright with their communication to the people of Bermuda. The OBA has already been caught in a deception when they called it a fabrication and THEN had "an about face" and admitted knowledge ...AFTER they were exposed. What I and people of Bermuda want to know is... What did Michael Dunkley know about the offensive report and when did he know it?

Bookmark and Share

Devonshire & Pembroke Town Halls this Week

Continuing on the successful meetings that have been held over the past few weeks, The Progressive Labour Party will be holding two town hall meetings this week.

The first one, standing strong for Devonshire, will be held on Tuesday, December 4th at 7:00pm. This meeting will be held at Elliott Primary School and will target residents of Constituencies 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13.

The candidates for these constituencies are Vance Campbell, Patrice Minors, Neville Tyrrell, Anthony Richardson, and Glenn Blakeney respectively.

The second meeting, Standing Strong for Pembroke, will be held on Wednesday, December 5th at 7:00pm. To be held at Victor Scott Primary School, the featured candidates will be Walton Brown for Constituency 17, David Burt for Constituency 18, Vincent Ingham for Constituency 19, Marcus Jones for Constituency 20, and Rolfe Commissiong for Constituency 21.

We encourage all the residents of these constituencies to come out to listen to their PLP candidates and understand what has been achieved by their PLP government, and how we will continue moving Bermuda forward in our next term.

Bookmark and Share

$18,000 in Arts Scholarships Awarded to Deserving Bermudians

Today, Minister Patrice Minors announced that the PLP has distributed $18,000 in arts scholarships to three deserving Bermudians.

Minister Minors:

On behalf of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, I am pleased to recognise this year's worthy recipients of the Bermuda Arts Council student scholarship grants...

So today we are presenting grants totalling $18,000 to three young Bermudian students to aid them in their educational pursuits.

They are:

• Yesha Townsend - who is studying for her BA in Music (composition) and Creative Writing (Poetry and Fiction) at the McNally Smith College of Music, Minnesota.

• Kioshi Burgess – who will commence studies in January 2013 for his BA in Performing Arts at Philadelphia University of the Arts; and

• Juanee Verdelle Scott - who is studying for her BA in Film & Television Production at the University of Westminster.

They will be awarded grants in the amount of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000 respectively.

Congratulations to these young rising stars. Providing opportunities, enhancing education and standing strong for our Bermudian young people. This coming from a PLP that has more than doubled scholarships available to our young people.

Bookmark and Share

Hundreds Benefit from PLP's Training Programmes

On Friday, Senator Diallo Rabain (Constituency #7) and Minister Patrice Minors (Constituency #10) noted that the PLP isn't just talking the jobs talk - we're walking the walk, training hundreds of Bermudians and helping them secure good paying jobs.

On Friday, Senator Rabain and Minister Minors were joined by just a few of the Bermudians who benefited from our job training initiatives. Senator Rabain:

Currently:

 There have been 67 Apprentice contracts signed with industry partners since 2012. An apprentice contract is a 1 to 5 years agreement between the NTB and an employer to provide the trainee with a structured training program leading to a certification in the chosen field and in most cases, continued employment

 40 Bermudian are enrolled in the National Vocational Training Program, receiving funding to assist their pursuit of a technical degree or qualification.

 6 fully sponsored trainees currently overseas receiving training.

 52 Bermudians currently being assisted with their studies at the Bermuda College

 18 Bermudians are currently being sponsored for studies at PACE at the Bermuda College

 9 Bermudians are currently enrolled in the Nail Tech Programs

 11 Bermudians are currently in the Waiter/Server Program with 40 applications received for the January course.

 10 young men are enrolled in a joint program between NTB and Belco called the Sigma Corporate Program. This program has these NTB sponsored trainees being trained by Belco to be able to sit internationally accredited Power Engineering certification exams.

These are a sampling of the many programs this Government has put in place to help our citizens expand and enhance their employability. As I said earlier, this Government is not perfect and we all are a work in progress. However, fear of making a mistake need not be the reason not to try and this Government will always try when it comes to training our people as we continue to Stand Strong for All Bermudians.

Minister Minors noted that while we're standing strong with our fellow Bermudians now through training in DryWall, accounting, IT, hospitality, landscaping and much more - we have even more planned for the future. Minister Minors:

We have a vision. We have concrete plans to put more young Bermudians to work.

We are spearheading Job Corps Bermuda which will be hopefully established next year. Job Corps Bermuda aims to reduce barriers to employment for young people. It provides ongoing assessment and individualized service plans to assist with the transition to employment by offering workplace essential skills, safe work practices and exposure to occupations in the labor market.

But, that's not all. We are also rolling out the One Stop Career Centre that will occupy the old magistrate court building. This should be complete by Spring 2013. This center will house Career Development, National Training Board, Labour Relations and collectively it will administer career and educational development programs; maintain databases applicable to the clientele; solve problems; encourage the establishment of relationships with employers; help with job placement and overall do what is necessary to ensure their ultimate success.

While some in the community harp on the negative, the PLP has taken action training countless young people inclusive of those that benefited form the expanded summer internship programs. We've offered a real vision for the future that includes the introduction of Job Corps Bermuda and the One Stop Career Center.

The PLP have a record of standing strong for our young people and giving them the training they need. And, we have a plan for the future that includes Job Corps Bermuda, the One Stop Career Center and more!

Bookmark and Share

Need a Hospitality Job? Want Job Training? We're Here to Help!

The Waiter/Server programme is back and accepting applicants from Bermudians looking for training and job opportunities.

Today, Minister Patrice Minors encouraged unemployed Bermudians to apply for the Waiter/Server Programme.

The deadline for applicants is November 30, 2012.

Last year there were hundreds of real job opportunities available in the local hospitality industry and Bermudians who signed up to the programme were guaranteed jobs! It worked, and, now, we're doing it again.

According to Minister Minors, and any individual who is unemployed and who wants to work is urged to sign up for this year’s hospitality job programme.

The waiter/server programme is open to all persons seeking to reinvent themselves and pursue a career as a waiter or server. No experience is required and the training programme is being offered at no cost to the trainee.

Minister Minors:

Those who are employed as Waiter/Servers in our hospitality industry are on the front lines of ensuring that our visitors have a memorable experience here in Bermuda. Granted, the work can sometimes be tasking, however those who are accomplished waiter/servers have said that for them it has been nothing but a rewarding experience. They are in essence our tourism ambassadors for Bermuda. So it is our goal to prepare a pool of talented Bermudians available for employers when they begin their selection process for the 2013 season and beyond.

Individuals who work hard at this programme are guaranteed a job, and it is my hope that they will take advantage of this opportunity. This is a chance for Bermudians to excel in an occupation that they may have otherwise overlooked. This programme can assist with their entry into the hospitality industry, but it certainly does not prevent them. Once they’ve gained some experience, their opportunities are endless in exploring other options within the industry.

Interested persons, particularly those who are unemployed and who want to work are encouraged to contact the Department of Labour and Training or the National Training Board and get signed up.

Interested persons can contact 297-7714 or 292-3700 and sign up for the programme.

Bookmark and Share

Details! Minister Provides More Information on Job Corps Bermuda

The PLP Government is standing strong for Bermudians by introducing the new Job Corps Bermuda - and, you'll have a chance to learn more about it at two public meetings next week.

Minister Patrice Minors explains the programme in detail:

Strengthening the social fabric of our society means attending to a number of factors which include redirecting our young people and giving them the tools that they require to be productive which is why we are focused on advancing the Job Corps initiative.

Yes, I have read the criticism with respect to the time taken to advance this initiative however this is an initiative that requires a great deal of planning to ensure effective implementation. You will be aware that the Ministry, as a part of Phase 1 committed to using the current budget year to consult with stakeholders and to complete a full operations plan and manual, business plan and procedures manual. Odle International was contracted to assist with Phase 1 – the Programme Development Phase and this work has now been completed.

As a result, my Ministry is currently engaged in the public consultation phase.

We have already hosted one public meeting and next week on Tuesday, 13th November at 7:00 p.m. we will host a west end public meeting at Heron Bay School. Also, on Thursday, 15th November at 7:00 p.m. we will host an east end public meeting, at Bethel A.M.E Church.

It is important that the public is given the opportunity to provide their views and input prior to moving this initiative into Phase three because as I’ve said, it is imperative that we get it right.

Some will already be aware that Job Corps is a free education and training programme that helps young people gain self confidence, prepare for a career, earn a GED and excel in a profession.

The programme employs a holistic career development training approach which integrates the teaching of academic, vocational, employability skills and social competencies through a combination of classroom, practical and work based learning experiences to prepare young adults for stable, long-term, high-paying jobs. This programme is being designed as a residential programme and Harmony Club, in consultation with the Bermuda Housing Corporation, has been identified as the venue...

The community will recall that this is intended to be a public-private initiative and we will soon embark on Phase 3 which is an aggressive campaign to secure the funding necessary to move this programme forward.

It is my belief that collectively, we, the government and the private sector, will work together to prepare our young people to make a meaningful contribution both socially and professionally, resulting in jobs that “they” can be proud of and productive young people that “Bermuda” can be proud of.

As it relates to jobs, let me be clear, this government is committed to retaining jobs and to stimulating the creation of new jobs.

We hope you can join us at the meetings next week.

Bookmark and Share

Helping Those Businesses That Need it Most

Last week, the PLP announced that it was expanding the EEZ to help small Bermudian owned businesses in North Village, Middletown and Northwest Hamilton. The NE Hamilton EEZ will also be expanded.

We believe that businesses in these areas need the most support. The OBA disagrees. They believe that businesses owned by those who have had all the advantages deserve the same tax concessions and grants as those businesses in areas that need the business operated by people who need the support.

In a world of limited resources, we believe in helping those that need the help the most. Minister Minors:

Development Corporation known as BEDC, to announce the Government’s intention to expand the boundary of the North East Hamilton Economic Empowerment Zone and the creation of three new EEZs to be known collectively as the Greater Pembroke EEZs.

You would be aware that Economic Empowerment Zones (EEZs) are created as vehicles to assist those disadvantaged persons within the zones to achieve equal opportunity - economically, socially and environmentally - and to make the transition to full participation in the economic mainstream. As such, EEZs only exist for defined periods of time to allow the businesses and residents within those zones to reach established benchmarks. The EEZs established in Bermuda will exist for a period of 10 years.

Designation as an EEZ allows for a variety of incentives to be accessed by qualifying businesses that meet the criteria and show need. Determination is based on Business Plan projections and existing financials along with examination of Personal Financial Net Worth and abilities of the beneficial company owners. Specific incentives include the BEDC EEZ; Small Business Grant of Technical Assistance and Advice, Small Business Loan of Working Capital, Customs Duty Deferment, and Payroll Tax Concession.

We're standing strong for our Bermudian businesses. We believe in helping those who need the the help the most. The OBA disagrees. They believe that the businesses of the rich deserve the same type of help as the businesses built up by hard working Bermudians who have sacrificed and risked much. We disagree. We know that Bermuda has limited resources and, unlike the OBA, we believe in helping those who need help the most.

Bookmark and Share

Waiter/Server Job Training Programme Kicks Off

Yesterday, Minister Patrice Minors kicked off the latest class of waiters and servers to be trained by the PLP Government.

We believe in standing strong for Bermudians by training our people for jobs during difficult times for the global economy. Minister Minors:

I am pleased to have this opportunity to address the newest candidates of for the 2013 waiter/servers programme.

Last year, we introduced this exciting programme which was designed to retrain Bermudians and prepare them to become participants in our hospitality industry.

You’re all here today because you have either been directly or indirectly affected by the current economic downturn.

You are like so many other people in our community who want to work, but have had some challenges in finding employment.

But today – just by attending this orientation session – you have taken a significant step in trying to find gainful employment.

As a responsible government we have devised many programmes to expose unemployed persons to viable employment opportunities.

And what we have realized is that we have had to work with employers more closely because it is in everyone’s best interest to employ more Bermudians. I have also realized, that we, as the government, are more important as a ‘life line’ than we have ever been.

There is a need to educate and help people adapt to the new realities of the Bermuda economy and the employment opportunities that are available.

One of our roles, at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, is to assist job-seeking individuals to make the transition to the new economic circumstances.

And so this morning, I am pleased that you have taken the important step to involve yourself in this job creation initiative.

Those who are employed as Waiter/Servers in our hospitality industry are on the front lines of ensuring that our visitors have a memorable experience here in Bermuda.

Granted, the work can sometimes be tasking, however those who are accomplished waiter/servers have said that for them it has been nothing but a rewarding experience. They are in essence our tourism ambassadors for Bermuda.

While the current reality is that we are still facing our share of economic and workforce challenges, we are of the belief that our tourism industry will grow in the coming months and years, and this has the potential to lead to new jobs in our hotels and restaurants.

This is what standing strong for Bermudians looks like. In difficult times for the global economy, we've invested in job training for our people. The Waiter/Server programme, The landscaping programme. The DryWall programme, The Accounting programme. The CISCO Academy. And, much more.

Bookmark and Share