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Fri 12th Apr 2019

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School of Engineering and Technical Training needed for boost in economy and jobs

SVG needs a School of Engineering and Technical Training to boost our economy and create thousands of new jobs. The lack of engineers and technically trained people in SVG is holding our economy back and impedes prosperity.

Presently, in terms of Gross Value Added, the contribution of engineering to the UK’s GDP is 26% – more than that of the financial, insurance, retail and wholesale sectors combined – according to analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

For the financial year March 2015 to March 2016, engineering enterprises registered for VAT and/or PAYE in the UK generated 23.2% (£1.23 trillion) of the UK's £5.3 trillion total turnover from all registered enterprises.

These figures about the contribution of engineering to the UK economy highlight the vast gap in the SVG economy. Engineering has the potential to be a billion dollar economic sector in SVG. We must invest in our young people and build a School of Engineering and Technical Training.

The ULP regime has been a backward-thinking government. Rather than invest in our people, it has chosen to condemn our people by building a jail instead of a university or school of engineering.

There are around 580,000 engineering companies in the UK. The potential for an engineering industry in SVG is enormous. We have to train our people though. This will help create many engineering businesses in SVG.

As well as boosting the economy, engineering can create thousands of technical jobs and thousands of other jobs in secondary sectors. Starting salaries for graduate engineers in the UK are around £18,000 to £35,000.

According to the CEBR, in the UK, engineering activity has a wider employment multiplier effect than most sectors, with each engineering job supporting another 1.74 jobs in secondary sectors. On top of the jobs engineering projects have to offer, there is a positive ripple effect in other sectors in terms of more jobs. In the UK, the engineering sector currently employs 5.7 million people.

For any young person wishing to pursue an engineering career there has never been a better time to train.

Investment in engineering will bring a much higher yield and rate of return on capital invested than anything we will ever see in tourism in SVG. The focus of tourism in SVG is killing our economy and perpetuates generational poverty. A focus on engineering in SVG will bring prosperity to the people.

According to Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (hons) MSc, MBA, since Independence in October 1979, our so-called leaders have done absolutely nothing to drive industrialisation and engineering to boost employment and the economy. We have seen the converse: there is no engineering sector in SVG that can provide employment for 15,000 people.

Engineering is a crucial factor needed in building our nation’s and people’s prosperity. As the global economy continues to evolve, engineering innovations in SVG are needed to make us competitive in the global market. It is only with proper investment in an engineering sector, that we will ever be able to obtain sustainable growth in SVG.

A Green government would build a School of Engineering and Technical Training to bring billions of dollars in to the SVG economy and create thousands of jobs for our people.

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