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Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, says that if Jamaica is to achieve the desired levels of productivity, there will have to be a cultural transformation that must involve a change of attitude to work and the workers’ attitude to both work and management.
He said part of this transformation will also involve increased expenditure on education, while at the same time ensuring that we get more value for what is being spent on education.
Mr. Golding was speaking this morning (Oct 28), at the start of a three day National Productivity Conference, under the theme ‘Going the Distance for Global Competitiveness’. The conference will run from October 28-30 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
The Prime Minister noted that one of the problems facing Jamaican organisations such as Government, is their failure to establish the goals of the enterprise.
“We have never established what is the goal of this enterprise we call Government. If we don’t have that goal, we can’t streamline the commitment or the performance against the commitment. How do we measure performance against what has been achieved?” Mr. Golding questioned. He noted that one of the critical issues to be dealt with is accountability, with people being made to accept responsibility for decisions and their actions measured against their performance. He said a third critical factor, would be the linking of rewards to performance. Mr. Golding said he has requested both the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles and Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, Dwight Nelson, based on their expertise, to begin to canvas the views of both the trade union movement and organisations representing employers and management, to see if agreement can be reached to re-visit the issue of labour market reform. He said a report was done in the 90’s but that this needs to be updated based on the changes made and the challenges we now face.
The Prime Minister has also instructed Minister Nelson, to engage both the private sector and the trade union leadership, to see whether dialogue can be resumed in relation to the Partnership for Progress programme. He has also written to the Leader of the Opposition inviting her involvement. He indicated that both initiatives could be combined in one. “This is something I really want to encourage because we need to understand that based on the challenges on the global market we cannot believe that it is business as usual”, Mr. Golding said.
This morning’s opening heard brief addresses by Ministers Charles and Nelson, both of whom welcomed the idea of the conference and emphasised the importance of the roles of the State, the workers and employers in the task of improving productivity.