By Serena Grant
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – Minister of state in the ministry of industry, investment and commerce, Dr Norman Dunn, says that programmes put in place by the government to combat the economic effects of the COVID -19 pandemic, has strengthened the island’s position in the region as a favourable business destination.
“This government continues to pursue a bold and ambitious development agenda on behalf of all Jamaicans. We are pleased that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we were able to provide significant buffers to confront and overcome many potentially disastrous social and economic outcomes with all the care programmes that this government instituted,” Dr Dunn said.
He stated that this has strengthened the country’s position in the region as a preferred business destination and has given greater incentive for more Jamaicans to live, work, raise families, do business, and retire in Jamaica.
The state minister pointed out that the government’s restructuring of the public sector compensation system is far advanced for the 2022 to 2025 period “and we will see public sector workers on the lowest scale earning up to $1.3 million per annum and those at the highest earning up to $24 million per annum.”
Dr Dunn was addressing the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) Workforce Readiness Forum, which was held on Thursday, September 22 at Secrets Resort in St James.
He congratulated the organization for hosting the event and deemed it important.
“I know well the importance of a vibrant, productive sector in keeping and in helping to create a more prosperous and sustainable business environment. Your facilitation of this dialogue will no doubt encourage more Jamaicans to take advantage of existing and emerging capacity-building opportunities and steer many others into profitable engagement through the enabling environment this ministry provides,” Dr Dunn outlined.
For his part, president of MBCCI, Oral Heaven, noted that the forum was one that should prove beneficial to employees and employers in attendance.
“Human capital is integral to the operation and survival of any business, the harsh reality though, it that workers are scarce,” Heaven said.
During the forum, a panel discussion was held covering topics such as, ‘The Initial and Evolving Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Jamaican Workforce’, and ‘Aspects of Recovery for the Post-Pandemic Labour Market’.