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Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, has announced a reshuffle of Cabinet and merging of some portfolios to create two new Ministries.
The two Ministries are Agriculture, Fisheries and Mining, headed by Hon. Floyd Green, with Minister of State, Hon. Franklin Witter; and the Ministry of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, led by Hon. Daryl Vaz, with Minister of State, Hon. JC Hutchinson.
The new Minister of Labour and Social Security is Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., following the resignation of Hon. Karl Samuda.
Minister Charles Jr. will be supported by Dr. the Hon. Norman Dunn, who assumes the role of Minister of State.
“This Ministry will require significant transformations… [including] a transformation of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) programme,” the Prime Minister said, during a press conference on Monday (May 22).
He noted that the “digitisation of social welfare and conditional transfer services” is a key focus of the Ministry.
Additionally, newly appointed Senator, Dr. Dana Morris Dixon will assume the role of Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister and will have direct oversight for Skills and Digital Transformation.
Prime Minister Holness informed that she will be responsible for liaising with the private sector and the HEART/NSTA Trust to address skill gaps.
“The private sector is crying regarding the availability of skilled labour. It is now becoming a constraint on our growth, and so we need to pay attention to [making] sure that we’re training people to be job-ready, not just for the skills of the past but more so the skills of the future that will drive growth in the economy,” Mr. Holness said.
Other changes announced by the Prime Minister include the appointment of Hon. Marsha Smith as Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Youth; Hon. Alando Terrelonge is the new Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Hon. Zavia Mayne, State Minister in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service; and Hon. Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn, State Minister in the Ministry of National Security.