JIS News

The HEART Trust/NTA will be staging a stakeholder’s consultation for displaced workers in the banana industry, at the Tim Bamboo Hotel, Port Antonio Portland on Friday (September 4).
The consultation is being conducted by the HEART/NTA, for the purpose of developing a programme for the retraining of ex-banana workers who exited the industry within the last decade, including laid off farm and portworkers, and other persons who have been affected by the decline in the industry.
A total of $98.6 million has been made available by the European Union (EU), in collaboration with the Government of Jamaica, to fund the programme.
The programme will be conducted in the banana producing parishes of Portland, St. Thomas, St. Mary, St. James, St. Catherine and Clarendon. Funding is being disbursed through the St. Thomas Co-operative Credit Union, which will be working closely with credit unions in the other parishes in its implementation.
Approximately 620 persons will be targeted by the programme, with the objective of enabling their transition into new, diverse and sustainable income generating activities.
As part of this objective, the stakeholders meeting is being convened to facilitate the design of transitional strategies and the development of a comprehensive remedial, technical and vocational skills training programme geared towards sustainable employment and entrepreneurial activities.
Speaking to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) during an interview on Monday (August 31), Projects Manager for the EU Banana Support Programme Funded Grant contracts Jairzenho Bailey, said similar consultations will be held in the other banana producing parishes for the benefit of persons in those areas.
He noted that, although the programme is designed to primarily assist persons associated with the banana industry in the targeted parishes, it will also be used to accommodate other persons in those areas who are involved in sustainable income generating activities.

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