The Hon. Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has disclosed that the National Employment Programme will continue in the next financial year.
The Hon. Prime Minister said that additional funding will be allocated in the 2015-2016 Budget for the programme’s continuation.
He was addressing a press conference on Tuesday June 23rd.
“We have monies in the Ministry of Public Works for maintenance and we spend a lot of money on it every year. But when you look at what the NEP people are doing in the Kalinago Territory or Veille Case or elsewhere, they are doing a fantastic job so the idea is to keep the 371 or so who are on the Community Enhancement component of the NEP but pay them under funds provided to the Ministry of Public Works,” he explained.
The Finance Minister elaborated that discussion with the Hon. Minister for Employment, Ian Douglas resulted in that conclusion.
Hon. Skerrit believes, “We are using creative ways of reducing the budget for the NEP but not dropping the numbers in any dramatic or significant way.”
Launched in December 2013, the National Employment Programme started with a $7m grant from the Government of Venezuela.
Since its inception, it has employed more than 1,000 people from across the country and it was initially targeted at 450.
The programme has numerous components including Community Employment, Education Mentorship, Community Development and Apprenticeship.