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Work Permit Rules To Be Adhered To

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MONTEGO BAY, April 26 (JIS): Minister of Agriculture, Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, has reiterated the Government’s stance on the issuing of work permits to foreigners to work in Jamaica.

Addressing a ground breaking event for the launch of the Melia Braco Village in Trelawny on April 24, Minister Kellier said the Government will be unrelenting in its efforts to ensure that work permits are issued based on the guidelines governing the system.

He said in issuing work permits, priority will be given to protecting the employment of Jamaican workers and will only be issued foreigners in cases where they are absolutely necessary.

“The Ministry administers a rigorous work permit regime…(and)… when gaps arise in the availability of local skills for foreign investment initiatives, if we are not to frustrate the progress of these projects, then such skill gaps will have to be filled by workers from elsewhere,” Minister Kellier said.

He noted further that the Government recognizes that the best way to ensure Jamaican workers are given priority treatment during the recruitment of workers is to create the necessary platforms for high level training for those persons.

He added that his Ministry is in dialogue with a number of training agencies, with a view of ensuring that Jamaican workers receive the highest level training which will equip them for employment.

“We are also working closely with HEART/NTA and Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) to identify the skills that are needed and to train our workforce… (and make them) ready for employment in investment projects,” Mr. Kellier said.

Meanwhile, on the matter of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Workers Passport initiative, Mr. Kellier is encouraging the management of the Melia Braco Village to work with the Ministry in using the construction site as a pilot for that project.

Minister Kellier, in admitting that the legislation to implement the workers passport is yet to be passed in Parliament, said the Melia Braco Village site would be a good place to start.
“These passports will be the first step in guaranteeing that workers are competent and equipped to operate safely on work sites in both international and local markets. And while I know that this initiative is still in the early stages of development and the legislation is pending….our team will be working assiduously with Melia to explore the possibility in incorporating the workers passport as a pilot on this Braco site by the contractors,” he stated.
Under a 15 year lease management agreement with the Government through the National Insurance Fund (NIF),Melia Resorts, a Spanish-based company, will be operating the former Braco Village Resort in Trelawny.
The resort will become known as the Melia Braco Village, with 250 new rooms being added to the existing 225. The property is scheduled for opening in December 2015.

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Caribbean News

Blue Hills Man Charged with Manslaughter  

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#TurksandCaicos, February 8, 2023 – A 48-year-old man has been charged with two counts of manslaughter.

MIUS ANDRE, a mason by trade from Blue Hills, Providenciales, was charged with the offences, following advice received through the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

He appeared before a Magistrate on January 30th. Following his court appearance, the matter was committed for sufficiency hearing on April 06th.

Andre was charged in connection with an incident which occurred on December 24th at the Residence Yard, Five Cays.

Two female minors -ages six and seven-  died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Press Release: RTCIPF

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Bahamas News

Press Release: Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Bahamas

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February 3, 2023 – ILM Bahamas Centre held its Certificate Presentation Ceremony for Cohort 7.  The cohort consisted of fourteen (14) Senior Immigration Officers from the Department of Immigration.  This Cohort was a hybrid of in-person and online learning. Four of the Immigration Officers were from the Family Islands (Grand Bahama, Abaco, Berry Islands and Eleuthera).

Present at the ceremony were:  The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration, Madam Justice J. Denise Lewis-Johnson, Permanent Secretary Ms. Ceceila Strachan, Executive Chair of NTA Ms. Agatha Marcelle, Executive Director of NTA Mr. Terry Murray, Director of Immigration Mrs. Keturah Ferguson, Deputy Director of Immigration Mr. Dwight Beneby, Ms. Esther McKinney Office Manager at the Department of Immigration.

The guest speaker at the ceremony was Dr. Donald M. McCartney a Leadership and Management Consultant with Motivation Incorporated Bahamas and the United States. He was a former senior public servant.  He was also a First Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Public Service with responsibility for the Northern Bahamas. He was also a former educator and professor at various colleges in the United States.

In his address to ILM Cohort 7, Dr. McCartney spoke about having the courage to lead and that leadership goes beyond SELF.  It’s not about you or your ego but rather more about contributing to nation building. He said, “We must be prepared to take the bold steps that would not lead us into the abyss of despair but on the road that leads us to lift up our heads to the rising sun and press onward to the mountaintop experience, which will lead us to become the proud and productive people we were destine to be.”  He also expanded on the four fundamental virtues: COURAGE, TEMPERANCE, JUSTICE AND WISDOM.  Additionally, he expanded on the focus and influence of courage, on the ego and discipline.

The Hon. Keith Bell, Minister of Labour and Immigration brought brief remarks on the occasion.  Some of the highlights of his speech were that Immigration is one of the highest revenue earners, challenges within the Department of Immigration such as lack of autonomy from the Public Service as compared to the other armed forces. He also talked about that the fact that the top tier is going to be retired within two years and this would be an opportunity for many of the graduates of this Cohort 7 to gain upward mobility.

He also stated that there needs to be a complete overhaul of the Immigration Act, and a review of the Asylum Bill.  Furthermore, he discussed the inevitable need for the relocation of the Department of Immigration from its current location. Lastly, he stated that we must tread a delicate balance between enforcing the law and being humane, in regards to shanty towns.

It is noteworthy that the ILM Centre at the National Training Agency recently obtained a Centre upgrade.  The ILM Centre Bahamas now hold the statue of Direct Claim Status with City and Guilds of London. Additionally, the Centre is now registered with the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas (NAECOB) for all of its current course offerings. The ILM Department is lead Miss Pamela Gomez as the ILM Centre Coordinator. Registration is now open for Level 2 Certificate in Leadership and Team Skill and Level 3 Certificate in Leadership and Management. Our mission statement is, “Helping people, organizations, and economies develop their skills for growth.”

For more information, contact the ILM Centre Bahamas located in the Gladstone Road Business Centre by calling 461-6021 or 461-6008.

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Bahamas News

Sugar and salt tax campaigns gaining steam 

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

 

February 7, 2023 – A global battle on sugar and salt is ramping up as the United States joins The Bahamas and Barbados in creating proposals for historic sugar and salt laws.

The country’s Agricultural Department for the first time in history, proposed a cap on the amount of sugar to be allowed in school meals.

The World Health Organization has found that North America and the Caribbean have the highest rates of childhood diabetes in the world and based on the International Diabetes Federation’s Diabetes Atlas we also have the second highest prevalence of Diabetes overall for all global regions at 14 percent  or 51 million people with a projected 24 percent increase in just 22 years.

Barbados, the United States, Canada, Haiti, Mexico, Belize and St. Kitts and Nevis are all suffering from incredibly high rates of diabetes.

Barbados and The Bahamas announced sugar taxes last month; the hope is to reduce the importation and sale of sugar and salt rich foods.

Advocates across the Caribbean including Jamaica, Trinidad, and others have been campaigning for sugar taxes in their own countries with support from the public.

Now the proposed nutritional rules for the United States would set firm boundaries on how much salt and sugar can legally be added to meals, setting a new standard as most food imports for countries like The Bahamas are from the US.

The plan for the US is expected to be rolled out by 2025.

The rules, are unapologetically an attempt to cut down incidences of diabetes and other diseases fueled by unhealthy diets, according to media reports.

For now, the quantities on sugar and salt additives is an idea waiting wider consultation.

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