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MTW takes on extra mechanics


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THE MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT, Works and Maintenance has employed five mechanics on a contract for service basis to supplement those urgently needed to carry out repairs on equipment.

Permanent Secretary Mark Cummins said yesterday the ministry had suffered “a chronic shortage of mechanics” for the last two years, and indicated the seven currently employed were insufficient, making it difficult to have a proper preventative maintenance programme.

Speaking as representatives of the ministry were being quizzed in the Well of the House of Assembly during yesterday’s Estimates debate, Cummins said they were also in the process of securing the services of 12 apprentices from the National Training Board “to assist with the repair of the mass of equipment that can be put back into service”.

He made these submissions after Member of Parliament for St Thomas, Cynthia Forde, flagged the issue of accountability and efficiency in relation to the $4.6 million allocated in the 2019 Estimates for the vehicles and equipment workshop.

She said several of the ministry’s depots lacked equipment, while too many pieces and vehicles were lying at the Pine headquarters, corroding in full view of the public.

Minister Dr William Duguid agreed this was a big bugbear and suggested a lot of the equipment might have been repeatedly put up for auction, in which successful bidders had failed to make payment.

He added there was no place to dispose those heavy pieces of equipment that were not sold. He suggested Government had to find a place for the disposal of heavy equipment. ( GC)

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