Mr. speaker let me begin by  expressing gratitude by thanking the Prime Minister and to my colleagues on both side of the house for the tremendous support and encouragement provided to me over the past two years, in particular during the last financial year.

The success of the Ministry Mr. Speaker, owes a great deal to the dedicated and committed staff of the Ministry of Labour and National Security. I must thank the team who have carried out their tasks with diligence and purpose, knowing very well that their work forms part of a much greater effort on “Bolting the foundation for lasting prosperity through dignity and respect” for the people of Jamaica.

Mr Speaker, I sit in this house because of the privilege granted to me by the People of North East St. Ann, and the tremendous work of the Councillors, and the executive members of the constituency. I would also want to thank our various partners – the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Labour Organisation, the US Department of Labour, the Jamaica Employers’ Federation, the Jamaica Confederation Trade Unions and other private sector and civil society groupings for their support in making our work possible.

Mr Speaker, since my last Sectoral Presentation, a member of our dedicated team, Mr. Gresford Smith, who served as Chief Technical Director and later as an Adviser to the Ministry, was laid to rest. His contribution to the development of labour relations in Jamaica has been indelibly etched in our minds, and for that we owe him a debt of gratitude.


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