Committee Chair of the Jamaica Employers' Federation (JEF) Convention 2012, Patrick Sterling, says the annual event is a significant means of improving employer/employee relations and strengthening the labour force.
The annual business and workplace convention and expo, now in its 30th year, will be held from May 3 to 6 at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.
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Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on April 19, the Convention Director explained that the event allows for networking and the exchange of ideas.
"It is a learning experience…an experience where the order of the day will be networking, sharing of information, cross-fertilisation of ideas, and receiving any kind of enhancement that will help our participants to return to their various workplaces re-energised and refreshed to carry business forward," Mr. Sterling noted.
He pointed out that the convention has evolved significantly over the 30 years from a small group of 20 persons to 500 local and international participants, sponsors and exhibitors.
Mr. Sterling said that over the years, the convention has exposed participants to best practices in terms of workplace policies and employer/employee relations.
"Through the cross-fertilisation of ideas, our people are more attuned with what happens internationally and are able to align business practice with global practice to keep our business in step with what is happening globally," he argued.
He added that the JEF has been able to "identify the type of talent, the type of experience and skill to bring to the convention, to ensure that our people can learn and enhance their own environments."
The Director said that a number of locally grown and international talents will make presentations on a range of topics, including: creating bridges for success; the labour laws; and health and safety in the workplace.
Another focus area for this year’s staging is the use of social media in sharing information on employment issues.
“We will look at the legal implications of the social media and other current issues as we move with the times in terms of finding areas that will suit the interest of our participants,” he noted.
Highlighting this year’s theme: ‘Execute, Grow, Sustain’, Mr. Sterling said that all the themes used throughout the years mirror the experiences of employers, the industry and what is happening in the economy.
“This year, we are looking at the fact that we would have made quite a number of plans over the years; and we would have presented so many papers and so may speeches. It is now time to execute, time to encourage industries to grow and to sustain that growth for the next five or six years,” Mr. Sterling asserted.
He pointed out that the theme is the basis on which the presenters will engage the participants.
“People should come away with a new motivation in terms of executing…whatever sphere of influence you have in your particular environment, be it business strategy, human resource, environmental health or legal issues,” Mr. Sterling said.
Some 400 participants and 40 exhibitors are expected at this year’s event. Sponsors and exhibitors include: Sagicor Life Jamaica Ltd, HEART Trust/NTA, Gleaner Company, Carreras Ltd., Logo Stitch, BPM Financials, Guardian Life, Seprod, Advantage General, COK Sodality, Mayberry Investments and Jamaica Broilers Group.
By Kadian Brown, JIS PRO