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Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Works, Hon. Everald Warmington, says the Government is advancing on plans to upskill Jamaican labourers needed for work on the Montego Bay Perimeter Road Project.

Mr. Warmington said the project is expected to begin this year and included in the provisions is a 90 per cent requirement of local labourers as well as 50 per cent requirement for skilled persons.

He said the country has a lot of labourers, but many are uncertified and are not properly trained in their craft.

“Written in the contract, also, is the provision for the training by China Harbour Engineering Company and HEART/NSTA Trust. [Also] we just left the Caribbean Military Technical Training Institute that will participate in the training of unskilled persons,” Mr. Warmington outlined.

“This is a first for us and it is something we plan to do. So, with all these larger contracts, it is to involve the local people in training, so when the contractors leave, they will leave trained, skilled persons behind to carry on,” he added.

Mr. Warmington further pointed out that work is also to be carried out on the drainage network in and around Montego Bay, including North Gully, to alleviate the city’s flooding issues.

He stated that the rehabilitation of the city’s drainage is to run concurrently with the perimeter road project.

“The truth is, we can’t expect to spend approximately US$275 million to do the perimeter road and then we leave these [issues] behind. So, to spend that massive sum, we have to look at the other end and correct it also,” Mr. Warmington explained

“Recommendation first was to cover it. We don’t know if that is best, so we’ve asked the technical team from the Ministry to be out here next week and give me a recommendation,” he added.

For his part, Minister without Portfolio assigned to the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Homer Davis, noted that Montego Bay is looking forward to the start and completion of these major upcoming projects.

“With the perimeter road coming on stream, with the bypass coming on stream, that massive drainage infrastructure that will be done… I think Montego Bay will be in a very good place going into the future,” said Mr. Davis.

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