Continued Protection for the Most Vulnerable
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Sashine Robinson (left), presents Portland resident, Andrea Rhoden, with an emergency relief cheque, at the Ministry's parish office in Port Antonio. Approximately 12 persons in Portland, who suffered losses during heavy rains in January, received grants.

Continued Protection for the Most Vulnerable

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security continued to provide support to the most vulnerable in the society.

Social Security Division

  1. $8.4 billion was allocated  in the 2018/19 budget  for the Programme of Advancement Through  Health and Education  (PATH). The Programme continues to target 360,000  Jamaicans who are poor and in need of assistance. 

2. A $5.9 million incentive  programme, dubbed  ‘School Days Count’, was   launched. It aims to increase secondary school attendance by

PATH student beneficiaries.

3. The Stimulation Plus Early   Childhood Development  Centre in Rockfort, East Kingston, was upgraded  through funding of $70  million from the Inter-American Development  Bank (IDB).

Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Zavia Mayne (right), observes a student at the official opening of the $70 million Stimulation Plus Early Childhood Development Centre (Stim-Plus), Located in Rockfort, Kingston. Others (from left) are Managing Director of the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Omar Sweeney; Director at the Early Stimulation Programme (ESP), Antonica Gunter-Gayle; Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid; and Chief of Operations at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Adriana La Valley

4. The Ministry introduced a  Back-to-School grant of  $3,500 per student on PATH. This was done as part of efforts to improve  the social safety net programmes and to increase the level of support provided to poor families.

5. The Ministry, in collaboration  with Winrock International  and Lawyers without Borders, launched the  Level Engagement and  Assistance to Reduce Child Labour (CLEAR II)  Project in Jamaica.

6. National Insurance Scheme (NIS) old-age benefits  increased by 20 per cent. The payment moved from  $2,800 to $3,400 per week, effective April 1.

7. Also, effective August 1,  the funeral grant payable  under the NIS increased to  $90,000.

8. Effective August 2018, the   National Minimum Wage was increased from $6,200  to $7,000 per 40-hour  week.

9. The National Minimum  Wage for security guards  was increased from    $8,854 to $9,700 per 40-hour work week effective  August. 

Labour Division

  1. Between January and  November  2018, the Ministry  facilitated overseas employment opportunities for the following categories:

• United States (US) Farm  Work Programme –  5,085 workers, US Hospitality Programme – 1,724 workers, Canadian Farm Work Programme – 9,255 workers, and  Canadian Low Skill Programme  – 616 workers.

2. Up to November 2018, the  Electronic Labour Exchange (ELE) placed 1,141 workers in jobs locally.

3. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce and Runaway Bay Chapter of the  Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) to increase awareness of and access to the Labour Market Information System (LMIS) by employers and  jobseekers.

4. The Ministry embarked on a series of two-day road-shows to raise public awareness about the Labour Department’s services.

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