Jamaicans can Fill Specialist Posts at Alpart – PM

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (2nd right), and Chairman for JISCO/Alpart Chen Chunming (left), participate in a tree-planting exercise at the official opening of the Alumina Refinery in Nain, St. Elizabeth, on June 21. Looking on are Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Mike Henry (2nd left); and Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. J.C. Hutchinson (partially hidden).

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says he expects that Jamaican workers will be afforded every opportunity to take up highly skilled positions at the new ALPART/JISCO Alumina Refinery in Nain, St. Elizabeth.
  • “In my meeting with Chairman Chen Chunming of Jiquan Iron &Steel (Group) Company Limited (JISCO)… it became clear to me that the company understands the need for local employment,” he said.
  • Mr. Holness assured the new owners that all the high technology and high human resource capabilities required “can be found right here in Jamaica”.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says he expects that Jamaican workers will be afforded every opportunity to take up highly skilled positions at the new Alpart/JISCO Alumina Refinery in Nain, St. Elizabeth.

In giving the keynote address at the official opening of the facility on June 21, Mr. Holness said it is the intention of the Government to ensure that Jamaican workers are adequately trained to take up these high-skill jobs.

“In my meeting with Chairman Chen Chunming of Jiuquan Iron &Steel (Group) Company Limited (JISCO)… it became clear to me that the company understands the need for local employment,” he said.

“I want to assure Chairman Chen that we understand the need for high-calibre human resources to operate this plant. We operated this plant for decades before and quite efficiently I might add. We know how to do it and we have the capabilities here locally,” he noted.

Mr. Holness assured the new owners that all the high technology and high human resource capabilities required “can be found right here in Jamaica”.

He cited specialist welders, persons who deal with specialist equipment as well as highly skilled engineers as some of the workers that can be trained to fill top positions.

“In the initial stages, we understand that you will have to bring the experts from China to work alongside our own local labour to develop the expertise here. In the long run, it will be the best economic decision to employ local workers,” he pointed out.

He noted that under the Housing, Opportunities, Production and Employment (HOPE) framework, the Government has developed an employment strategy “that will see the alignment of our young people leaving school through a system of apprenticeship and national service that will not only develop the necessary skills but more importantly, the necessary attitude that will help to bridge the cultural gaps that may exist between our two countries.”

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