A virtual latecomer to the race for the general election is promising to create 1,500 new jobs for the people of St James Central should he be elected.
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate George Connolly, who is seeking to unseat Kerrie Symmonds of the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), has promised to use his expertise in information technology (IT) to train 1,000 constituents in the field, preparing them for the world of work.
“We have several persons in this constituency who are not at work and we are creating a database right now with all those persons who are either underemployed or unemployed and with the IT background that I have and a cadre of peers, we are going to train 1,000 persons in IT skills, from animation to coding to building applications,” Connolly said at the official opening of his constituency office in Sunset Crest, St James.
Stressing that this was no lofty promise, the businessman said he would get the trainees employed locally at international firms, and if this were not possible he would create a new industry for them.
He also pledged to create employment opportunities for another 500 people in the area of elderly care, which he said was in great demand.
“In our research we have found that there is a great need for persons providing elderly care and right here we are going to develop programmes to train individuals in elderly care. Over the next five years we are committed to train at least 500 persons in that area and place them either locally or internationally,” Connolly said.
Connolly was a late entrant into the race, having been named in January, along with newcomer Kim Tudor, the chief executive officer of the Barbados National Initiative for Service Excellence who is challenging the BLP’s Ronald Toppin in St Michael North, and veteran Patrick Todd, who was replaced in The City, but later added to the list and will take on BLP leader Mia Mottley in St Michael North East.
After the announcement in late January, political scientist Peter Wickham described the three as political fodder for the BLP, arguing that with the election mere months away it would be difficult for the electorate to take the three candidates seriously, having thrown their hats in the ring at the eleventh hour.
Connolly, was an early favourite of the DLP St James Central branch, but two days after his apparent coronation in March last year, he had told Barbados TODAY he no longer planned to contest the election.