Having given some 270 people short term work and graduated 26 on to full-time employment in some 4 months, the Hustle Truck program has now been suspended. If you asked those 270 people given work or those 26 now fully employed, would they tell you it was a success or a failure?
The Hustle Truck proved at least one thing, that people on the streets aren’t lazy and there are many who are ready and willing to work if the opportunity is provided to them. It’s goal being to achieve just that by allowing individuals from many different backgrounds, whether poor, down on their luck, living on the streets, trying to make extra cash or even trying to break an addiction, to find work. The Hustle Truck is the opportunity for the individual to help themselves.
It is unfortunate the the scheme has now been suspended due to a row over pay. Does this indicate that today’s Bermuda has become so expensive that just about everyone is having a hard time surviving, even those who are desperate for any kind of work?
Senator Gina Spence-Farmer described the Hustle Truck as a good idea, but questioned it’s level of planning.
“[Minister Burch] did not have a realistic plan in place to manage the people they were putting to work. You can’t just take people off the street and expect them to do spot work around the Island without proper supervision and support.”
How does one go about planning such an endeavor having never undertaken it before? How do you deal with workers of varying backgrounds who are just desperate for a chance to work? Could the process of trial and error have worked considering the program’s track record up until now? Did those 26 now working full time lack supervision and support or is this a case of a few bad apples ruining it for the bunch? Is this kind of scenario only limited to hustling?
Sen. Spence-Farmer is quick to suggest that the program did not get the commitment and resources needed to succeed, but is that truly the case? What were the management conditions of the workers? What resources were provided? How could things have been done better? What would Sen. Spence-Farmer have done differently? How would she improve things if she were in Minister Burch’s shoes?
Unfortunately, these questions remain unanswered. For those 26 however, no doubt they’re simply happy they’ve found work.