Trainees and Staff of the HEART TrustNTA Pay Respects to Mr Seaga

Trainees and staff of the HEART Trust/NTA were among the first in line to pay respects to former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, at the National Area on Wednesday (June 19), where his body is lying in state for two days. Trainees and staff of the HEART Trust/NTA were among the first in line to pay respects to former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga, at the National Area on Wednesday (June 19), where his body is lying in state for two days.Representatives from training facilities all over the island came out to honour the man who established the institution they now attend.Managing Director of the agency, Dr. Janet Dyer, told JIS News that Mr. Seaga launched the HEART Trust on November 4, 1982 as a place for the training of the country’s youth who could not afford tertiary studies.She said that were it not for Mr. Seaga’s vision over 37 years ago in establishing HEART, thousands of the nation’s secondary-level school-leavers would not have been equipped to join the labour force.“This programme, HEART, is the gem of programmes that Mr. Seaga implemented. I can say it is the gem because I benefited from it. I was one of the first set of students to have gone to HEART and now I manage the HEART Trust/NTA,” Dr. Dyer told JIS News.She recalled that after graduating from high school, she was unable to pay for tertiary-level training and was introduced to the inaugural Runaway Bay HEART Academy.“Upon completing my studies there, Mr. Seaga was instrumental in my getting a scholarship through the Jamaica Tourist Board, where I went away and studied abroad,” she told JIS News.Dr. Dyer said that through Mr. Seaga’s vision, HEART continues to build a trained, qualified and globally competitive Jamaican workforce to meet the demands and challenges of globalisation.In recognition of HEART Trust/NTA’s 30th anniversary in January 2013, the institution’s headquarters in New Kingston was renamed The Edward Seaga Building.Amputee and former member of the Tivoli Dance Troup, Claire Reid, who was also in line, said that she could not miss the opportunity to pay her respects.“He impacted my life very much because I’m living in Denham Town, and I was living in a one room with two children. Mr. Seaga assisted me with getting a two-bedroom house… and I give thanks for it,” Ms. Reid said.Mr. Seaga served as Member of Parliament for West Kingston, where Denhamn Town and Tivoli Gardens are located, for 43 years.The closed casket bearing Mr. Seaga’s body will return to the National Arena on Thursday (June 20). Members of the public can visit the location between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.The nation is observing a period of mourning in honour of the life and service of Mr. Seaga from June 19 to 22. No public social functions or official events should be held during the four-day period.Both Houses of Parliament offered tributes in a special sitting on June 19, and a wake will be held at Tivoli Gardens Square on June 22.The State funeral for Mr. Seaga will be held on Sunday, June 23, beginning at noon, at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, 1 George Headley Drive in Kingston. Interment will follow at the National Heroes Park. Story Highlights Managing Director of the agency, Dr. Janet Dyer, told JIS News that Mr. Seaga launched the HEART Trust on November 4, 1982 as a place for the training of the country’s youth who could not afford tertiary studies. Representatives from training facilities all over the island came out to honour the man who established the institution they now attend. read more

Positive Responses to Tourism Workers Pension Scheme

Story Highlights It will cover all workers from 18 to 59 years in the tourism sector, whether permanent, contractual or self-employed. Benefits will be payable at age 65 years or older. Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, is reporting positive responses and buy-in from sector workers and stakeholders who are to benefit from the soon-to-be-established Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme.The scheme, which is expected to come into effect early 2020, is a defined contributory plan supported by legislation, and will require mandatory contribution by workers and employers.It will cover all workers from 18 to 59 years in the tourism sector, whether permanent, contractual or self-employed. Benefits will be payable at age 65 years or older.Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, the Minister noted that the public awareness and sensitisation sessions have been bearing fruit with deep interest and enthusiasm from both employees and employers on how the scheme will impact the sector.“We started out with seminars and have been through all the main resort areas, including Negril, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Kingston and now we are on to the next phase of going to the hotels, then to the attractions and ground transportation,” Mr. Bartlett said, adding that the whole idea is to ensure that the establishment of the scheme is understood by all the workers in the sector.He said that the sessions have been “very animated with a lot of excitement from everybody and the questions are numerous and practical, so that tells us that there is a deep interest, and for most, a welcoming addition to the sector’s offerings.”The Minister pointed out that the sensitisation sessions are most crucial, as “once you are asking people to take any amount from their salary, you will have to convince them that they are making the right decision, so the public awareness activities is a big part of the buy-in that we need from all the partners.”For her part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Jennifer Griffith, pointed out that the public awareness strategy is also a chance to emphasise the importance of saving.“As a nation, we do not save as much as we ought to, so we are reinforcing the importance of saving for your retirement age…so it is more than just saying it is a retirement fund, join it, but it is also saying, change your entire mindset towards investments and savings and think about your own quality of life after your working years,” Mrs. Griffith highlighted.She added that the Ministry has rolled out its public education campaign with messages in print, electronic and social media.“We are also doing one-on-one consultations with all of the tourism subsectors and so far, we have been getting very good attendance and good questions, and we are heartened that what we are doing is something that is very desirable and needed in the sector,” the Permanent Secretary said.Meanwhile, Minister Bartlett informed that the Ministry is soon to appoint a Coordinator for the pension plan programme, who will be responsible for doing the leg- work across the island to ensure that people understand and, most importantly, sign up.“The tourism workers’ pension plan is a big deal and we want you all to participate and be a beneficiary of what is the biggest savings instrument that Jamaica could see, as this is a powerful way of demonstrating that tourism is working for you,” the Minister asserted. The scheme, which is expected to come into effect early 2020, is a defined contributory plan supported by legislation, and will require mandatory contribution by workers and employers. Minister of Tourism, Edmund Bartlett, is reporting positive responses and buy-in from sector workers and stakeholders who are to benefit from the soon-to-be-established Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme. read more