Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, says the Logistics Hub Initiative is expected to generate numerous employment opportunities for Jamaicans, irrespective of qualifications.
In an interview on the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Issues and Answers’ programme, Mr. Hylton noted that a range of opportunities will be created from the lower end to the highest end of the spectrum.
“From the highly skilled to the merely functional supportive kind of role, we believe we can maximise those job possibilities by the preparation we make… getting HEART Trust/NTA and our tertiary institutions involved…getting specialised agencies like the (Caribbean) Maritime Institute, the Aviation College, for the training of the high end and the skilled positions that we know are integral to the process,” the Minister said.
He added that unskilled or low skilled individuals will also be catered for in the initiative.
“The construction and the build out of the facilities will employ significant numbers and we are talking about projects that span numbers like US$9 billion of investments, a lot of that in physical infrastructure,” the Minister said.
Mr. Hylton pointed out that the sustainability of the activities, once the infrastructure is built, will focus on “our services sector and our ability to supply critical services efficiently and in a competitive way, and for that we have to train and bring the range of skill levels up.”
The Government’s Global Logistics Hub Initiative is aimed at taking advantage of the anticipated increase in maritime activities from the expansion of the Panama Canal, scheduled to be completed in 2015.
Jamaica is deemed ideally positioned for this undertaking, based on the country’s location, midway between North and South America, and in relatively close proximity to the Panama Canal.
The key elements of the initiative are: development of the Caymanas Economic Zone; dredging of the Kingston Harbour; expanding the port facility at Fort Augusta and Gordon Cay; establishing a Dry Dock facility at Jackson Bay, Clarendon; establishing a trans-shipment commodity port facility near Yallahs, St. Thomas; and developing an air cargo and passenger facility at Vernamfield, in Clarendon.
Source: jis.gov, May 27, 2013