Jamaica Employers' Federation (JEF) President Wayne Chen says though Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller touched on issues of employment in her address during yesterday's 74th annual conference of the People's National Party, she needed to have gone into the details.
"Well, she touched on a few issues, she mentioned employment programmes such as JEEP (Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme), Jamaica Employ and others, but we are experiencing a harsh business climate, so I would have liked to see more being said about how we are actually going to generate employment," Chen said as he critiqued the presentation in an interview with The Gleaner yesterday afternoon.
"In terms of business confidence, the IMF (International Monetary Fund) deal is sufficient but not enough. We have a 14 per cent unemployment rate ... , so we are in a crisis. We all heard about housing opportunities, the JEEP, but there needs to be more effort," he said. "Issues such as crime, I am sure no one is comfortable with our crime level, and we didn't hear much being said about that."
He also lamented there was little said about projects such as the Kingston Port, saying it was an avenue for employment opportunities.
"Overall, the speech was a fair effort, but it lacked an overarching vision that would inspire the people," he said.
In the meantime, chairman of the Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches, the Reverend Lenworth Anglin, said he would have wanted to see in-depth details being projected regarding the National Partnership for Transformation.
- Jodie-Ann Gilpin