The Government has budgeted $211 million to continue work to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of key social protection programmes in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.
The allocation, contained in the 2017/18 Estimates of Expenditures now before the House of Representatives, will go towards the ‘Integrated Social Protection and Labour Programme,’ which is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
It is focussed on improving human capital and labour market outcomes for the poor.
For the 2017/18 period, an early stimulation plus centre will be constructed, while workshop activities to support the implementation of a parenting pilot will continue.
Some of the achievements of the project up to December 2016 include:placing 453 participants in on-the- job training; commencing workshops for a parenting programme in six pilot parishes (Clarendon, Kingston, St. Thomas, Portland, St. Ann and St James); engaging two consultancies to study the impact of the parenting pilot; construction of an early stimulation programme assessment centre; and establishing two satellite locations.
Other achievements include the drafting of the School Feeding Policy Cabinet submission document for review by the Minister of Education.
The project, which started in December 2012, and was slated to end in December 2016, has been extended until December 2017.