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St Lucia wants girls to try construction

Regional 06 May, 2024 Follow News

Black women in construction is a still a rarity

Saint Lucian women are being encouraged to consider seeking employment in the construction sector.

Traditionally seen as a male-only industry, there is enough scope for females to try construction jobs. Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre has designated 2024 as the Year for Infrastructure.

Labour Minister Dr Virginia Albert-Poyotte said: “I am of the view that there are too many women who have settled for the softer jobs and the low paying jobs because most women settle for housekeeping, caregiver and they do not see construction as an area because they have not been trained.”

She is encouraging women to explore new skills adding that Pierre indicated there would be much construction work in the coming months.

In this regard, she said there might be a skilled labour shortage in the sector resulting in the importation of workers.

“Can women go into that area so that they cater for the shortage?” the veteran former trade unionist asked. She disclosed that the government has been working with a Canadian firm to help women enter the construction sector.

“We felt that we need to open the door to allow women who want to go into construction to participate,” she said.

She acknowledged prevailing notions that heavy-duty work in construction would rule out women’s participation. Nevertheless, Albert-Poyotte added that globally, females work in all sectors.

Regarding Saint Lucia, she said that many women engineers work at the Ministry of Infrastructure. They do not necessarily need to do heavy lifting and added that women could be supervisors on construction sites.

Albert-Poyotte said there was a need now to train women for construction jobs, a task the government would undertake.

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