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Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister Simpson Miller, is upbeat about the improved macroeconomic performance for 2013/14
  • Jamaica is on track to record positive economic growth of between 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent for the 2013/2014 financial year.
  • Growth of 1.4 per cent was recorded for the September to December quarter of 2013.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, is upbeat about the improved macroeconomic performance for 2013/14, noting that this will translate into better opportunities for the Jamaican people.

She was addressing the 10th anniversary awards ceremony for the Community Training for Empowerment Programme (CTEP), held on February 23, at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay.

The Prime Minister said that for the first time in many years, Jamaica is on track to record positive economic growth of between 0.5 per cent and 1 per cent for the 2013/2014 financial year.

Growth of 1.4 per cent was recorded for the September to December quarter of 2013, with agriculture continuing to be one of the outstanding achievers, with growth of 10 per cent, while tourism grew by some six per cent. “Mining is also on the increase…and we hope that we will reach a higher level of growth in this sector,” she stated.

She said that the strong performance means that “things will get better for Montego Bay, better for western Jamaica, better for the country and certainly better for all our people.”

CTEP, the brainchild of Member of Parliament for South St. James, Hon. Derrick Kellier, who is Minister of Labour and Social Security, is celebrating a decade of training persons for jobs in the hospitality industry. Over the period, more than 1,000 residents of the constituency, have been equipped with skills in housekeeping, waitering, bartending, front office, conversational Spanish, construction, Team Jamaica and sign language.

The Prime Minister lauded the programme, noting that it is keeping with the Government’s focus on investing in the country’s human resource.

“As a Government, we are serious about human resource development and resolute about increasing the training and skill levels of our people.  We are seeing positive signs from the investment in institutions such as the HEART Trust/NTA and investments, which the Government has been making in the people of the country.  I have always believed that the best investment that any country can make is investing in its people,” she stated.

“Our long-term economic growth rests in the hands of our people.  We have to train our people for available and emerging jobs… and the CTEP programme is a fine example of what we need in every community throughout Jamaica to actualise the economic revolution that is needed for growth, for development and certainly for prosperity,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

She noted that with plans advanced for the development of a logistics hub, it is “high time” that a more serious approach towards human resource training be adopted for the project’s success and sustainability.

During the function, several persons received plaques and other awards for their contribution to the CTEP over the years.