By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter Efforts are being made to provide adequate training for the local labour force, to ensure that persons can take up a significant number of the over 10,000 jobs expected to be generated by the global transshipment and logistics hub development. In this regard, Industry, Investment and Commerce Minister, Hon. Anthony Hylton, said the Logistics Task Force has secured broad-scale representation on its Human Resource Working Group, from stakeholders in the Ministry of Education as well as secondary, tertiary and vocational institutions, for consultations. That group is headed by the Caribbean Maritime Institute Executive Director, Dr. Fritz Pinnock. Speaking at a recent stakeholders’ consultation at the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ), Newport West, Kingston, Mr. Hylton said the Ministry understands the “magnitude of the human resource element,” in the context of the multi-billion dollar logistics hub development, and assured that they will seek to recruit as many locals as possible to fill available positions. Noting that 70 per cent of the employees at the Dubai logistics hub in the United Arab Emirates are foreigners, the Minister asserted that “we want to train our people to fill the jobs and vacancies that are here.” “Having a skilled labour force is critical, if we are to achieve what we need to. Other countries have to rely on importing most of the skilled labour that they need for their logistics hub. We want to ensure that we have as much as 100 per cent employment (for) our people,” Mr. Hylton said. Development of the hub is being spearheaded by the government in an effort to position Jamaica to take advantage of the increased maritime activities, anticipated from the expansion of the Panama Canal, slated for completion in 2015. Central to the development of the transshipment and global logistics hub are: dredging of the Kingston Harbour; expansion of the Port of Kingston; development of the Caymanas Economic Zone, a transshipment commodity port, and Vernamfield in Clarendon, as an air-cargo and passenger facility; and establishment of a dry dock facility. On completion, the hub would be the fourth such facility globally, along with those in Singapore; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Jamaica is deemed ideally positioned for the facility’s establishment, based on the country’s location, midway between North and South America, and in relatively close proximity to the Panama canal.
Perfecting the art of the impossible, the maverick andPerfecting the art of the impossible, the maverick and emotional politician, first hogged the limelight by blocking Jayaprakash Narayan`s convoy by throwing herself on the ground when he came to Kolkata to organise the masses against Indira Gandhi before Emergency.Defeated in 1989, she was back in Lok Sabha in 1991 from Kolkata South and retained the seat in 1996, 1998,1999, 2004 and 2009. Banerjees first tryst with the corridors of power came in 1991 when she became became union minister of state for human resources development, youth affairs and sports and women and child development in the P V Narasimha Rao government.Later on after forming TMC, Banerjee aligned with the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government and became Railway Minister in 1999 and Union Minister for Coal and Mines in 2004.Banerjee resigned as Railway Minister and left NDA just ahead of the 2001 assembly polls in Bengal after the Tehelka scam and allied with Congress for the assembly elections but could not dethrone the Marxist party.In 2004 Lok Sabha election Banerjee was the only one from TMC to win.In 2006 asembly polls in Bengal her party managed to win just 30 seats in the 294-member assembly.But being a fighter, Banerjee refused to be cowed down and led the protest against farmland acquisitions in Singur and Nandigram which finally catapulted her to the seat of power in the state.A firebrand orator, she had coined a catchy slogan “Ma, Mati o Manush” (Mother, Land and People) before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and played on the anti-incumbency factor after more than three decades of Left rule and the creeping disillusionment among several sections, like Muslims, to decimate the Left in partnership with the Congress.advertisementKnown for her humble lifestyle, the seven-time MP successfully sold a vision of development, cashing in on the deep resentment among the middle classes and unemployed youths, promising jobs and development.Her nondescript residence–a tiled single-storey house in a dingy lane close to the Kalighat temple?and equally simple attire comprising cotton saris, jhola bags and cheap hawai chappals, endeared her to the masses.It has not been an easy journey though for Mamata who turned her call for `Parivartan` (change) into a reality with Congress, her ally then, throwing its full weight behind her.Her energy, charisma and political astutenes made Banerjee one of the few mass leaders in the country.PTI PNT SUN KK VMN VMN