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KINGSTON — Minister with responsibility for Information and the Public Service, Senator Arthur Williams, has urged the 2011 graduating class of the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) to see themselves as change agents in the transformation of the public sector and modernisation of the labour force.

“You, who are graduating…are being assigned a special responsibility in the process of change in the public sector, which we are engaged in. What this means is that you are now going to be expected to be the ones, who must make the differences in the offices and other places of work,” he said.

Senator Williams, who was addressing MIND’s 12th annual graduation ceremony on Saturday (Dec. 10) at the institution’s Old Hope Road, St. Andrew campus, noted that the Public Sector Transformation Programme (PSTP) seeks to improve on service delivery through greater efficiencies “in the maximum interest and benefit of the nation”.

Senator Williams said the initiative requires all stakeholders to engage in a “clinical” examination of systems, procedures, legislation, structures, business processes, and human resources, while emphasising the “special role” the graduates have to play, in this regard.

“As newly trained workers, you should see yourselves as part of this new public sector and, indeed, new private sector,” he stated.

Senator Williams said that in looking at the various courses pursued by the graduating class, it was apparent that concerted effort was made by MIND to incorporate critical areas of public management and contemporary leadership.

These, he pointed out, include: administrative management, customs administration, human capital management, information technology, industrial relations, accounting and finance, and governance, describing them as “all the relevant areas to ensure that the modern workplace has persons, who are suitably equipped”.

Senator Williams argued that critical to the “change era” is the issue of work attitude and the general perception of expectations at the workplace.

“If we do not have the appropriate attitude to doing our work, then productivity levels will continue to fall, and so we will not succeed in our quest to deliver quality public services. You, as pioneers of the contemporary workplace, have a duty to change that. You should not be timid about calling attention to attitudes and performance that do not measure up to the standards that will make you proud to be a part of the organisation,” Senator Williams stated.

The 232 graduands were awarded certificates, diplomas and degrees during Saturday’s ceremony.

Valedictorian was Senior Internal Medical Resident at the Savanna-la-Mar Hospital in Westmoreland, Dr. Andrew Salmon, who was awarded a Post Graduate Diploma after successfully completing the Public Sector Senior Management Development Programme.

The Jamaica Information Service (JIS) was one of seven entities, inclusive of four media houses, which received special awards from MIND for helping the institution to advance its mission of providing the public service with quality leadership and management training, supporting services and outreach.

 

By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter