Thu | Nov 15, 2018

Former gov't officials ponder their job options

Published:Saturday | March 5, 2016 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett and Christopher Serju
Ffolkes Abrahams

As the dust settles on the country's 17th general election, some former members of the political executive have already begun exploring employment opportunities.

While most persons who spoke to The Gleaner yesterday were still assessing their options, top investment firm Proven Wealth Limited used a full-page advertisement to publicly woo former Cabinet ministers Peter Bunting and Mark Golding.

"Ok ... Peter and Mark ... We know that you are upset that your party lost the general election. But look on the bright side: We want you back!" read a part of the ad, which was published under the headline 'CHEER UP'.

And the feeling was mutual as both Bunting, the former security minister, and Golding, the former justice minister, indicated that they have accepted the invitation.

The company later issued a statement announcing their re-appointment as directors of Proven Management Limited and, by extension, the Investment Management Committee of Proven Investments Limited, effective yesterday.


Golding, who also served as a government senator, also confirmed that he had accepted the invitation. "They have invited me to come back, so I have indicated that I am willing to do that," he explained.

However, the former justice minister indicated that "in all likelihood", his full-time employment would be with the law firm of Hart Muirhead Fatta, where he is a partner.

"I've been a partner on leave in the four years that I have been away, so I will probably be returning, and that will be my day-to-day job, but I am going to take a little time off to recharge my batteries," he disclosed.

Bunting, on the other hand, sought to clarify his re-appointment as a director of Proven.

"I don't want you think it's like a full-time job or a paying job that I'm returning to. It's nothing like that, so I don't want you to read too much into it. It's a sort of a commitment to attend a meeting every fortnight or from time to time as decisions require," the former security minister noted.


And what are his full-time job options, if any?

"Being member of parliament for Central Manchester," Bunting answered promptly. "It's been just a week since election, so I am not saying there might not be other things, but for the time being, that's what I'm focused on," Bunting said.

Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams, an attorney-at-law and former junior minister for industry, commerce and investment, indicated that she plans to devote more time to her church ministry that is based in the United States and Canada, while remaining in the legal profession.

"I'm an international speaker and I'm a lawyer [who is allowed to practice] in both Jamaica and Canada, but it's safe to say I will remain in Jamaica," said Ffolkes-Abrahams, who lost the St James West Central constituency that she won in the 2011 general election.

Former junior minister for science, technology, energy and mining Julian Robinson said he had not signed off on anything, but indicated that he plans to explore his options. "I used to do management consulting work, so I'll look at that as an option going forward," said Robinson.

He said that this is in addition to his duties as the parliamentary representative for St Andrew South East and deputy general secretary of the People's National Party.

Former attorney general Patrick Atkinson, who is also an attorney-at-law, said he had not yet made any decisions about his employment options. "Just cooling out for a while," he told The Gleaner, while indicating that he could return to his law practice.