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.
TCI Police Confirm Passenger Death after Emergency Landing at PLS
A female passenger who fell ill during a flight while on route to Charlotte, North Carolina from the Dominican Republic was taken from that plane and transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center where sadly, she died.
The 41-year-old woman had been escorted to the hospital by police units; we are told that CPR was performed on the passenger.
Police in that statement on Wednesday informed, s a post mortem will determine the cause of death.
Police hear major concerns from GT residents
#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Given the opportunity to liaison with the top brass of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force, residents came prepared with the concerns that have been plaguing them for years, from detective work to 911 issues.
”Y’all didn’t say anything new, we keep hearing the same thing and we keep getting the same result,” was the complaint from the very first resident who spoke; but her biggest concern was the force’s detective work.
The resident said she was not averse to sharing information with the police, far from it.
“Someone sent me a video where a young man was sitting on a bed putting two bullets in a gun— and he called two names, he said one bullet for one of these people.”
After sending the video to the police the woman says, incredulously, the police asked her to find the room where the young man was so they could go and collect the gun. Her frustration was: “It seems like the police put more of the burden on the community to provide them with information instead of going out there.”
In response to the concern, Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime expressed that the police had had success recently, and over time because of community intelligence and would do better at working to communicate that success so residents were assured that they were making a difference.
A concern raised by another resident was the disconnect between 911 operators and Grand Turk residents.
“Once you call 911 operators they don’t know addresses in Grand Turk. I called the 911 operator, this was right by the police station, she didn’t even know where I was,” explained a resident sharing details of a car accident weeks prior.
The complaint has been an enduring one. Magnetic Media has received similar complaints regarding other serious incidents like fires and murders.
Oswald Skippings, Former Chief Minister demanded a more proactive approach to crime fighting with which Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor agreed. He didn’t just put the blame on the police, drawing the Governor and parents into the limelight outlining that they too had a part to play in the prevention of crime.
“There is a need for the government to reach down to unemployed residents, especially the youth and it’s easy because we have a small native population. We need to go under the trees, by the bars wherever these people associate and reach out to them.”
On the panel listening to the concerns were Micheal Woodbine, Superintendent of Prison; Dean Holden, Superintendent of Crime and SPPU; Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner; Chris Eyre, Acting Commissioner; and Dileeni Daniel Selvaratnam, TCI Governor.
The meeting was called after the public slaying of a young man in Grand Turk on February 8, 2024.
Not Enough Police in Grand Turk; Residents are vocal in Anti-Crime Town Hall Meeting
#TurksandCaicos, March 4, 2024 – Residents of Grand Turk, while appreciative of the recent police Anti-Crime Town Hall meeting on February 21, say they’re concerned about the number of officers being deployed to the nation’s Capital.
One resident who spoke to the police officers during the event brought statistics.
”I want to speak to what I see happening in Grand Turk. In the ongoing capacity carrying study. It has been noted that the population in Grand Turk is around 72 to 7300 – that works out to about 927 persons per square mile.”
The resident maintained that 927 persons per square mile on an island like Grand Turk was in the police’s favor and much could be done for crime fighting using both humans and technology. Citing the millions of visitors that visit the island’s shores each year, residents lamented that there was no police enforcement to go along with that.
”We live here, we see the change, probably the parliamentarians don’t see it but we see it and we expect that as citizens to have more than three police officers working the night shift.”
Other residents were in agreement, expressing frustration at the blind eye that they say is often turned to the capital.
“Why did it have to get to this point, that there had to be a shooting basically at the high school in order for people to [realize] that 20 or 15 or 28 officers just doesn’t cut it,” said one longtime resident
He complained that nine years ago, having moved to Grand Turk there were over 40 officers but with the increase in killings in Providenciales officers were stripped from Grand Turk. Now residents say they want them back.
Earlier, during the meeting police had promised that the increased presence in Grand Turk would not be temporary and they were exploring ways to increase the Force complement.
Hosting the meeting were executives of the Royal TCI Police including new Acting Commissioner Christopher Eyre; Dean Holden, Superintendent and Rodney Adams, Deputy Commissioner. Attending were Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and Otis Morris, Minister of Home Affairs and the Member of Parliament for Grand Turk North, the Hon. Otis Morris.
The meeting was held at H.J. Robinson High school.
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