Job creation high on Labour Department’s agenda for 2018 work plan
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The Ministry of Labour launched its 2018 work plan Jan. 28 at the Zion Moravian Church as it seeks to advance its programmes of job creation and fostering harmonious industrial relations.
Senior Minister and Minister of Labour and Ecclesiastical Affairs the Honourable Vance Amory, Permanent Secretary Ron Dublin-Collins, Labour Commissioner Shernel James and other staff members attended the Sunday worship where the plans were outlined. Cabinet Secretary Josephine Huggins also attended the service.
The Department of Labour’s work plan for 2018 is aimed at advancing safe, fair and harmonious workplace practices through key units of social protection, occupational health and safety, industrial relations, employment services, research, statistics and international relations.
Amory greeted the congregation and said that “the government of St. Kitts and Nevis is working very assiduously to improve the lives of all the people of this country by seeking to grow the economy so that we can have jobs created. … we are mandated to protect and develop the labour force in order to contribute to the socioeconomic development of the people of our federation.”
Increasing employment opportunities for locals is a major policy objective of the federal administration as part of its strategy to empower individuals and families. Focus has also been placed on growing the number of businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses and startups, through programmes such as the Fresh Start, which facilitate borrowing at a reduced interest rate. Many of the companies were able to increase their work staff after receiving the financial support.
“The ministry formulates and coordinates labour and employment-related legislation so that we can use that legislation to attain social justice, industrial peace and an enabling environment for employment creation,” the senior minister added.
In his capacity as minister responsible for Ecclesiastical Affairs, Amory commended the Zion Moravian Church for its outreach efforts to support the people of the nation through youth-oriented services and other community outreach assistance initiatives. He said the ministry will provide greater support to the church community and looks forward to greater collaboration in 2018.
After the church service, the Rev. Hilton Joseph blessed the Department of Labour’s new minibus, which will be used by staff members to conduct increased work site visits and labour inspections. The department’s employees were then treated to a luncheon hosted by Amory and his wife.