Divisional Director, Industrial Relations and Allied Services, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ms Gillian Corrodus, says the Ministry is calling on parents and guardians to ensure that their children are protected and not forced to work.
Speaking at the Ministry’s Eastern Roadshow on November 27 at the Anglican Church Hall in Port Maria, St. Mary, she said that the National Youth Activity Survey of 2016 noted that 895 of the children from St. Mary were involved in child labour.
“This is far too much. Child labour is a hindrance to a country’s social and economic growth and if we are to move forward as a nation, then this practice must stop,” Ms Corrodus emphasised.
“In an effort to safeguard our children, and give them a meaningful future, this Ministry, with the assistance of the United States Department of Labour and Winrock International, procured a consultant team to develop a National Action Plan to Eliminate Child Labour in Jamaica,” she added.
Ms Corrodus said that in preparation for this plan, the Ministry conducted regional consultations that included stakeholders from the parish of St. Mary.
She noted that these persons provided the Ministry with an insight into the various causes and the types of child labour which now exist in the parish.
“Child labour is a hindrance to a country’s social and economic growth …this practice must stop.”— Ms Gillian Corrodus, Divisional Director, Industrial Relations and Allied Services, Ministry of Labour and Social Security,
Ms Corrodus pointed out that implementation of the National Action Plan will commence shortly.
She explained that one main goal of the Ministry, through the ongoing Roadshow, is to link unemployed Jamaicans with potential employers.
At the event, hundreds of unemployed persons participated in interviews with prospective employers, such as Sandals Resorts, Restaurants of Jamaica and other companies located in and around the parish of St. Mary.
“The engagement of youth and second career job seekers remain a primary focus of this Ministry, and today we have 14 employers providing jobs for persons who have registered on our enhanced Labour Management Information System portal,” Ms. Corrodus said.
She also offered words of inspiration to the job seekers and students present, informing them that St. Mary is a parish filled with rich talent, producing stars such as Oliver Samuels, Capleton, and Lady Saw (now Minister Marion Hall).
The Ministry hosted the Roadshow under the theme: ‘Safeguarding the values of dignity in work with true respect for all’.
— JIS (Ainsworth Morris)