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The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security are to undertake a comprehensive labour market reform study.

“Consultations have already begun and training sessions will commence this year,” said Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller.

She was making her contribution to the 2013/2014 Budget debate in the House of Representatives on April 30 under the theme ‘Jamaica: Going for Growth and Development, Unleashing our Full Potential.’

The Prime Minister also informed that the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is collaborating with the Government on an Integrated Social Protection and Labour Market Project.

This initiative will include baseline studies to support the development of a National Employment Strategy.

Turning to the matter of training, Mrs. Simpson Miller said for this financial year, strong focus will be placed on technicaland vocational education, to effectively prepare persons for the workplace.

She said the aim is to transform lives and the economy.

“In a year when fiscal discipline makes it absolutely necessary to constrain expenditure, we have treated education and training as a priority,” the Prime Minister stated.

She informed that the HEART/Trust NTA launched two workforce colleges last year, specialising in Information Communication Technology (ICT) and beauty services, and another two facilities are to be established this financial year, which will focus on construction services and hospitality.

By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter