With the economic crunch bearing down hard and many businesses folding, chances are that landing a job may be more difficult than ever. Earlier today unemployed and unskilled residents of the Southside completed a training course that will provide them an opportunity to earn an honest living. For the past three days, the Ministry of Works facilitated development training sessions at the Belize City Center to prepare participants for employment with the Southside Rejuvenation and Poverty Alleviation Projects. Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez, who was one of the presenters, says the skills training is a stepping stone for participants to uplift themselves and help their families.

Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Works

“What has happened over the last three days was the training session for them to understand the public service regulation and the work ethics; what is expected of them and what is expected of us. So that was very important to bring in key people over the last three days. You have myself, you have the chief engineer, you have the C.E.O. and you have the financial secretary who was doing presentations to let people understand the rules of public service, mek people understand that they are here as poor people to take advantage of the opportunity to make sure that we deliver quality work and value for money.”

Press Office

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“Who is the target group of people who are being assisted?”

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“The target people are unemployed people, people that have minimum skills as to develop their skills at the same time. I call it the sort of learn and earn employment where you learn to do a skill and at the same time you earn to feed your family. And I think that is very much important to us but we needed to instill the respect, the work ethics everything going on in regards to what we want to accomplish and achieve and show the Belizean people and ourselves, the poor people can prove to themselves that they are capable to accept the opportunity given to them.”

The residents will be doing mostly construction related work in the first instance and will earn one hundred and seventy-five dollars per week.

Channel 5