FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development, the Hon. Philip Davis said more young Bahamians need to be encouraged to join the ranks of engineers, in his address of the Northern Branch of the Bahamas Society of Engineers at their 2015 Grand Bahama Annual Meeting and Workshop Luncheon at Ruby Swiss Restaurant on Thursday.
The Deputy Prime Minister commended the Northern Branch for pursuing new opportunities for their members and remaining abreast of new trends in engineering.
As on previous occasions, Mr. Davis repeated his call for the community to embrace the locally registered professional engineers in major developments from the outset and not as an afterthought.
Reminding the group that the Northern Bahamas includes other islands in the north, Deputy Prime Minister Davis said he flew in from Abaco having addressed The Bahamas Business Outlook Seminar under the theme, “Securing Our Abaco Through Partnership, Planning and Productivity.”
He said, “Partnership, Planning and Productivity is a theme that should symbolize the dynamics of the relationship between the islands of the Northern Bahamas, the business community and your Society. It is only through Partnership, Planning and Productivity that you benefit from the skills and the opportunity that your community affords.”
The Minister of Works and Urban Development commended them for engaging and exposing young graduate engineers to the profession through internships and
providing them with opportunities. He said, “as a Society of Engineers you seek to position yourselves at the start of the design process for new developments and to ensure that a more integrated approach is employed in works required. Grand Bahama has long been identified as the industrial capital of The Bahamas.
“As the population of this island and indeed The Bahamas continues to expand, the demands for government services and infrastructural development will likewise expand. Trained professionals will be needed to provide the technical leadership to match the developments that will come. Grand Bahama, I am sure will soon see a resurgence of activity that will usher in new life in its economy. The professionals within your Society will be called upon to be at the forefront of this coming economic resurgence and infrastructural growth on the island. As engineers you are the professionals that ensure that where we lie, what we drive on and where we work are built to the high standards of safety.”
The government, said the Minister, will continue to pursue investments in both public and private sectors, which will result in improved employment opportunities for Bahamian engineers, as their work is essential. It is important, he continued, that they register with the Professional Engineers Board.
There are many projects that include: the Fishing Hole Road Causeway; the Smith’s Point Seawall, the scheme is estimated to cost between one and one half to two million dollars; the Holmes Rock Junior High School, which has been sent out to Tender; the $6 million Fire Station, which is currently under construction; the refurbishment of the Farmers Market, which has also been started; and the refurbishment of the Garnet Levarity Justice Centre.
“Be assured that it is the intention and the mandate of the government to provide opportunities and to protect the rights of those within your profession. You must work to eliminate the shortage of professionals in your field. The recruitment of civil, environmental, chemical, electrical and mechanical engineers must be curbed. It is within your sphere of influence to cause a new approach to encourage more Bahamians to pursue studies in your field. I know that you are aware of the challenges in this regard and that you will engage the appropriate partners to ensure that more of your talented Bahamians will see the benefit of joining your profession.”