By Kingsley Emmanuel
HEARTBREAKING. That’s how the general manager of Lewis Industries Ltd. Andre Lewis described the unemployment situation in the south after witnessing the desperation residents there displayed in an effort to gain employment at his establishment.
Lewis Industries Ltd. had just been awarded a contract to clean the Hewanorra International Airport and needed workers to fill the position of cleaners. Last Thursday, the company held an interview session in Vieux Fort for potential employees.
According to Lewis, over 160 persons were interviewed for the approximately 25-30 vacancies.
“Something needs to be done to bring some relief to the people of the south. They are desperate. They need jobs…, ” Lewis lamented.
He added that the government needs to make a greater effort to provide jobs in the south, and expressed surprise by the level of frustration the job seekers displayed at the interview.
The applicants, the majority of whom were women, crammed a section of the sidewalk on Clarke Street and the office where the interviews were held, awaiting their turn, hoping to get off the bread line. They came from several communities in the south of the island. However, a number of them did not wait to be interviewed because of the length of time it would have taken for them to be attended to.
And with just a cursory glance, it was quite evident they were frustrated.
A female resident of Vieux Fort lamented: “It’s over five years I am unemployed. I really need a job. It’s so difficult to get a job in the south.”
Another said because of her economic situation, she was prepared to take “almost anything”.