Senator Dr. the Hon. Dana Morris Dixon was sworn in as Cabinet Minister during a ceremony at King’s House on Thursday (May 25).
She will serve as Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, with direct oversight for Skills and Digital Transformation as well as the National Identification System (NIDS) and the Registrar General’s Department (RGD).
The new Minister comes to the position with several years of experience working in the private and banking sectors and served as Commissioner of the Jamaica Education Transformation Commission (JETC) in 2020.
She also led the completion of the National Risk Assessment for Jamaica’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Action Plan.
Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who presided over the swearing in ceremony, said that Minister Morris Dixon’s “commitment to our national ideals and your exceptional understanding of policymaking” were key factors in her appointment.
“Remember, this role isn’t about serving an administration; it’s about serving the millions of hearts and minds, who depend on us daily,” he noted.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in welcoming the new Minister, said she will play a vital role in implementing the recommendations of the JETC draft report on vocational training in Jamaica, as well as the HEART/NSTA Trust.
“So, we have now received that report and it recommended the appointment of a Minister to focus on skills, so we have [already] started to implement some of the recommendations,” he pointed out.
Prime Minister Holness informed that Senator Morris Dixon will be tasked with executing a programme that targets the approximately 700,000 Jamaicans who are not formally counted in the labour force.
It is expected that in reaching these individuals, they will be exposed to adequate training and certification that are aligned with the needs of the private sector, the evolution of technology and economic growth.
“Having achieved the lowest unemployment rate in our independent history, the major barrier to growth is no longer capital; the major barrier to growth is the availability of skilled labour,” the Prime Minister said.
In response, Minister Morris Dixon committed to “working really hard,” in achieving the targets outlined.
“The two areas I’ve been given are two very important areas to Jamaica’s development and I’m very humbled. When we break down digital transformation it is all about access, that’s what it really comes down to,” she said.