Antigua Plans to Import Skilled Workers for Construction Amid Labor Shortage


The government plans to import skilled workers from various Caribbean countries to assist with major construction projects due to a labor shortage, according to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

Browne mentioned the need for about 30 to 40 masons and carpenters each, stating that while importing labor isn’t preferred, it’s necessary.

He noted that workers may be sourced from both Caricom countries and beyond, like the Dominican Republic and Mexico.

This move comes as part of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party’s efforts to improve accessibility and affordability in the housing sector through entities like CHAPA and the National Housing and Urban Renewal Company.

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  1. How we have labour shortage when so much you men out here unemployed…. Make it make sense to us to ppl not just to those that are in high places/seats😭😭😭😭😭

    • The key word is skilled…are the unemployed young me skilled? Also are they even interested in construction? I don’t believe there’s a shortage of labour, but skilled labour is something else entirely.

      • Totally agreed! The english language is quite complex for some people. A skilled worker is always hard to find , but labourers you can find a dime a dozen. They’re called helpers who cannot complete the job. That’s why there’s a shortage of “SKILLED WORKERS”.

    • So why your r**s don’t go tell dem dat you know dem not working and ask dem to come forward and tek up de jobs dem? The negative chatter will one day f*** up unno country. I work in construction and everyday we have shortage a manpower. Antigua is a blessed country is not eveyting unno need fi negative bout.

  2. What happen to all those young men who not doing nothing,so you bring in men to work and leave the young man to steal and rob 9-5 people

  3. Over the years, we have witnessed a decline in the number of young people wanting to enter into the construction field. At the same time, the demand for them continues to increase due to the government focus on expanding the hotel plants etc. The skilled labour shortage is as a result of improper long term planning and inadequate training of school leavers to eventually fill these positions over the years. Additionally many current skilled tradesmen has reached retirement age and are no longer taking on those huge assignments. If we do not train Antiguans and Barbudans to adequately fill these positions, we run the risk of having more expatriates in those positions than our own people. The need to build more hotels in the future must be in line with the training and readiness of our own people to fill those positions. We simply cannot just import labour when so many young Antiguans and Barbudans are still struggling to find meaningful and long term employment.

    • @Audley Phillip…

      A…why should one have to leave school (“school leavers”) to be educated in the construction industry/business?
      Education is a lifelong journey and once the proper [footings] are set, as in, the earlier years of being educated, then the foundation (thought process) can be set, to hold up your structure (field of choice).
      When this early education process is being taught, it’s important to relay one principle which seems to be non existent, in not only the Constitution Indudtry but the Agriculture and Aquaculture as well, and this is a TOOL/INSTRUMENT in one’s hand is simply, and EXTENTION of their thought processes which eases the burden on whatever task(s) one is faced with.

      I mentioned Agriculture and Aquaculture, since, the same problem (lack of ‘skilled labour’) also plagues these Industries.

      What this says, it’s not necessarily the “school leavers” fault but more so, that of the Educational System for not putting the proper matrices in place, to make entering or wanting to enter these industries interesting to children at an early age. The stigmatisation of these two vital aspects of HUEman living begins in the early education of children.

      I can guarantee you, if the Education System gives the same attention to these Industrues, as they do with others such as medicine, electronics, legal and other which they glamourise then the shortage of SKILLED Labour will not be a oroblem.

      Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood
      De’ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

      Vere C. Edwards

  4. I never realized you could import humans.Then they would be exported.There are hundreds of skilled workers in Antigua on the bread line.You the people should not let this importation of so called skilled workers to happen.Where are all those imported Africans garne?

  5. Ofcourse, source foreign labour who will be willing to work for minimum wage and work Saturdays, Sundays and anytime they are needed for basic salary. The less they are paid, more money will end up in the bank accounts of some. Are the houses really any good? The Minister once said that they were built by unskilled workers so how does one know for sure what he has bought? We are still waiting to hear how much money is being burnt at National Housing.

  6. Importing skilled workers is OK if this results in a net increase in the productivity of the country as a whole. Nevertheless, I am inclined to agree with those who advocate for the promotion of opportunities to teach and train the local population. Enabling local job seekers to find well paying jobs to support themselves and their families creates twice the economic benefit because as productive citizens they will no longer be a drain on society.

  7. Learning a trade after school was a part of life, today that’s out the door. Rushing home after school to light up is the in thing now. Tourism and construction, one don’t pay enough and the other one is hard work in the sun. Our young males of today not interested in either.

  8. It’s failure on the government behalf why there is a lack of skilled workers in Antigua. The recently renovated Royaltan Resort at five Islands showed that we were way behind. Basically all the tradesmen were imported from the Dominican Republic. The PLH and Halcyon cove projects imported workers from the Dominican Republic and Mexico.
    Where is the TIVET program. Where are we with masons , carpenters, plumbers, wielding technicians. It’s not too late.
    So we are given away our land , we are giving away billions in duty free and hemorrhaging the money to Foreign countries.
    Every sector of our economy is dominated by foreigners. Where our leaders don’t have vision the people perish. Antigua young men now lining up to join the bandits. They are at a lost- whose fault…

  9. Antigua & Barbuda is raising a generation of keyboard warriors and useless men that can’t even rub two dry branches of a hibiscus tree together to start a fire much less start a sustainable backyard garden. These men are the future owners of homes and automobiles and will not be able to service or repair either. The fathers and grandfathers of tomorrow.

    Imagine idolizing a bank employee was a thing and not a tradesman in my day. Sadly, what I see and hear on the job site speaks for itself – asking for a compact (impact) drill, using drywall screws as outdoor fasteners, wearing slippers or no shoes at all, using silicone as a bonding agent instead of PVC cement, those who want a career being led astray by those who are only seeking a paycheck, no proper nutrition, marijuana for breakfast, lunch and dinner or a bread and cheese with a soda, utterly malnourished. No wonder they can be easily fooled when you ask them to bring a concrete bender or a wood stretcher.

    One cannot plant corn and expect to reap bananas.

  10. I never ask any Antiguans to do any work in the house except cleaning:
    Plumbing, Grass Cutting, Washing Machine Repairs, Refrigerator Repairs, Pump Repairs, Carpentry, Tile and Roof work, etc. are all done mostly by Guyanese and others from Caribbean Islands.

  11. I never ask any Antiguans to do any work in the house except cleaning:
    Plumbing, Grass Cutting, Washing Machine Repairs, Refrigerator Repairs, Pump Repairs, Carpentry, Tile and Roof work, etc. are all done mostly by Guyanese and others from Caribbean Islands.

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