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Story Highlights

  • The Prime Minister is advocating a strong partnership between the public and private sectors to lift the quality of customer service across the country to world class level.
  • She noted that the Jamaican economy needs a new customer service culture at all levels within the public and private sectors.
  • The Prime Minister was addressing the opening ceremony for National Productivity Awareness Week on Monday, October 7, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is advocating a strong partnership between the public and private sectors to lift the quality of customer service across the country to world class level.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the collaboration will achieve critical outcomes such as a more desirable positioning for Jamaica in the global competitiveness rankings, which is a major priority for the government.

She noted that the Jamaican economy needs a new customer service culture at all levels within the public and private sectors, which must be premised on “quality, speedy responses and innovative practices.” This, she said, will empower workers to exercise greater discretion and appropriate attitudes in delivering excellence at all times.

The Prime Minister was addressing the opening ceremony for National Productivity Awareness Week on Monday, October 7, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, New Kingston, which is being observed under the theme: ‘Productivity – Pathway to Competitiveness and Growth: Getting From 2013-2030’.

Mrs. Simpson Miller also said that local productivity must be benchmarked against world standards.  She pointed out that being the best and most productive entity in Jamaica is no longer adequate.  “We must identify and quantify best practices in the world and aspire to match or better yet, to surpass them,” she said, while noting that the country’s athletes have already demonstrated that it is not impossible.

Pushing for a programme of public awareness as a means of educating Jamaicans on what it means to be productive, the Prime Minister noted that it is about, “working smarter, managing smarter, organizing better and being more nimble and agile of mind. It is about convincing ourselves that ‘I did better today than yesterday and that tomorrow will be better than today’.”

National Productivity Awareness Week is being staged by the National Productivity Awareness Centre, a unit of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, which is responsible for promoting and facilitating productivity enhancement at the national, sectoral, industry, and enterprise levels. It functions as a tripartite entity comprising the Government, Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), and the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF).

Recalling the launch of the centre in 2003 under her portfolio, Mrs. Simpson Miller, said that in a relatively short time, the centre has substantially impacted the national efforts to inculcate a strong productivity culture in Jamaica.

In the meantime, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said his Ministry will be working through the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC), to maintain a “laser-beam focus” on the issue of productivity- improvement in Jamaica.

He noted that this year’s ceremony is historic, as it signifies the first real beginning at an attempt in post-independence Jamaica to establish the framework for a genuine “productivity revolution”.

“It is my hope that our presence here this evening will be interpreted to the wider society to mean that we in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, along with our tri-partite partners, are determined to fulfill the requirements of the growth agenda to which the Administration is committed.  There is no turning back from this mission, because productivity is the key for growth,” Mr. Kellier said.

Also addressing the event were President of the JCTU, Lloyd Goodleigh; President, JEF, David Wan; Executive Director HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Wayne Wesley; Managing Director, Development Bank of Jamaica, Milverton Reynolds; and Senior Director, Policy, Planning and Research, Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Douglas Webster.