Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Labour ministry office right smack in Lucea square

Published:Wednesday | March 6, 2019 | 12:00 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer


Customers doing business with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in Lucea, Hanover, are now enjoying easier access as its branch office is now strategically located in the heart of Bustamante Square, across from the Hanover Municipal Corporation.

The labour and social security ministry now occupies the building that once housed the Bank of Nova Scotia, which has now closed down its operations in Hanover. The building was purchased and renovated by the ministry at a cost of approximately J$110 million. According to Minister Shahine Robinson, the new location is in keeping with the ongoing drive to improve facilities in order to increase productivity.

“Where workers are given the opportunity to experience good working conditions, then it is contended that productivity is high, staff morale increases, and the customers are given better service,” said Robinson, who was on location of the new branch office. “What we have here is more physical space for both workers and customers.”

According to the minister, one of Jamaica’s chief challenges is its decades-long decline in productivity, which hampers economic growth.

“In fact, the level of productivity is the single most important determinant of a country’s standard of living. With faster productivity, there is growth leading to an increasingly better standard of living,” said Robinson. “It follows, therefore, that the realisation of enhanced growth and development are hinged on high levels of productivity.”

Robinson says her ministry’s mandate is to increase in productivity, and she plans to work more closely with the Jamaica Productivity Centre to reap those rewards.

“This new office complex is the first in a series, which will provide the ministry with a better chance of pursuing its mandate of providing an effective social protection for the poor and needy, promoting social inclusion for all, sustaining a stable industrial relations climate, promoting productivity growth, ensuring safety and health for all workers, and maintaining an effective and efficient labour market,” said Robinson.

She also revealed that tenders were out for the refurbishing of the ministry’s offices in St James and Ripon Road, Kingston. The office in St Ann should be opened by the end of the calendar year, she said. All other offices that have outgrown their capacity are also in line to be upgraded.