Minister of Education and Workforce Development, Diallo Rabain told MPs, informed MPs on Friday that nearly 1,000 people have registered to gain national certification in various trades.

And 964 are employed in trades, including 964  Bermudians and 388 work permit holders, who fall under the “designated occupations” covered by the new scheme.

Those trades include landscape gardeners, vehicle mechanics, electricians and welders.

While noting that certification “is directly aligned with workforce development initiatives and is meant to create a level playing field and build a competitive advantage for all Bermudian trades professionals”, he said the entire process is “instrumental to providing enhanced work opportunities for Bermudians”.

Seven mechanics and two electricians secured national certification last month, while welders completed a practical training assessment and electricians took training courses over the past few months.

The National Training Board has also approved apprenticeship contracts for four Bermudians entering the workforce – three of them will train as electricians and one as a landscape gardener.

The Minister also noted that the Department of Workforce Development has teamed up with the Department of Financial Assistance and the Bermuda Hospitality Institute to train people as housemen and chambermaids for the hotel industry.

And Fairmont Southampton has offered to provide the practical training for the first group of 25 due to start the two-week course later this month.

Another 25 are scheduled to take the course in March.”

“Based on industry discussions the Department understands that there is a need for these occupations for the upcoming tourism season,” said Mr Rabain.

In his Ministerial Statement in the House on Friday, Mr Rabain stressed that certification is a “critical component for the sustainability of the workforce”.

In closing, he said the Department “continues to carry out its mandate to improve the quality and efficiency of Bermuda’s workforce through training and re-training”.