ALBA Funding St Lucia Jobs Plan

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Above: St Lucia (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

St Lucia’s National Initiative to Create Employment is getting a boost from its new relationship with the Venezuela-led ALBA alliance.

The country announced this week that the ALBA Bank would be extending grant financing in the amount of $10 million over two years to St Lucia to support the initiative.

“Since the inception of NICE, 4847 individuals have benefited from employment initiatives,” St Lucia Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony said in a statement. “Currently, about 1118 persons are employed by NICE. Of that number, 104 farmers are now benefiting from the Farm Labor Support Program. A total of 1412 persons have benefitted from apprenticeships and training programs. These include crop production, small engine boat maintenance, multimedia production, customer service office administration and beauty therapy.”

According to a statement from ALBA, the grant is provided to “create job opportunities and highlight the capabilities of the unemployed to ensure sustainable or full-time employment in an environment that maximizes socio-economic rewards.”

St Lucia will be investing another $3 million in training for employment in the cruise sector in particular.

The NICE programme launched in 2012.