Cabinet Secretary



Update from the July 9 CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting in Montego Bay

It has been agreed that:

In respect of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) Jamaica made its position clear that the focus would be on the Single Market and not the Economy. The focus would also be on the free movement of people including that of skilled labour and also for the creation of the regulatory environment for the free movement of capital.

The management of the Council for Finance and Planning (COFAP) will finalise the required instruments to enable the coordination of fiscal policies as well as other mechanisms across member states. This should be in place by July 2019.

Follow-up Special Heads of Government Meeting

A Special Heads of Government Meeting is to be convened in November 2018 to be chaired by Prime Minister Andrew Holness. It will review the policy co-ordination required for strengthening the CSME.

There is also need for consideration on the free movement of people and the adoption of a protocol of the contingent rights of persons moving to another country under the free movement of skills regime as well as their spouses and dependents who would then have access to health care and education on par with nationals of the country.

Cabinet approved the following for tabling in Parliament:

* Annual Report and Audited Statements of the Airports Authority of Jamaica 2016/17

* Special Benefit Orders Longville Park (Phase 2A) in Clarendon and St Mary’s Field, Galina, St. Mary.

The National Housing Trust (NHT) has designed a programme to allow specific groups of contributors to more readily access housing units. In these two schemes a number of units have been set aside to allow for 36 housing units in Longville Park Phase 2A and six (6) housing units in St Mary’s Field. Please note these types of units are usually reserved for public servants and certain special interest stakeholders.


* A contract in the sum of Six hundred and sixty two thousand, two hundred and forty US dollars (USD 662,240.00) has been awarded to Industry and Technical Supplies Ltd. for the supply and commissioning of a 45 Tonne Reach Stacker for the Montego Bay Terminal, St James.

* A contract in the sum of two hundred and sixty seven million, one hundred and twenty five thousand and seventy seven dollar and twelve cents

($267,125,077.12) has been awarded to CAC 2000 Ltd. for the supply, installation and commissioning of air conditioning system in the BPO complex at the Portmore Informatics Park.



With respect the Forestry Department’s role in the verification of the boundary of the area to be protected as the Cockpit Country.

The current estimate of the boundary of the area to be protected as the Cockpit Country is 219 km. The process to verify the estimated boundary is to be conducted by the Forestry Department in the financial year 2018 / 19.

The verification exercise commenced at the start of the financial year on the eastern side of the proposed boundary and will continue until the on-the-ground data is collected for all of the component parts.

This process is projected to be completed in the next financial year and is being supported through funding received under the EU Budgetary Support Programme.

In order to keep the members of the various communities in and around the boundary abreast of the work of the Agency in relation to this verification exercise, it is anticipated that approximately five meetings will be held over the next few months. This will give persons from approximately 31 communities in the environs of the area to be protected as the Cockpit Country, the opportunity to pose questions to the Agency on the process.

The logistical details for these meetings are being finalised and will be made available to the public once completed.

Statement on funding for schools

Over the past few weeks, questions have been raised about the allocation of funds to schools. Given the recent changes made regarding funding arrangements for public education institutions and the policy on non-mandatory contributions, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has further increased the funds allocated to schools. Grants are allocated to High Schools for the following: furniture, infrastructure, maintenance, special tourism programmes in some schools (newly introduced this year), science, ICT, staffing, PATH Feeding Programmes, Career Advancement Programme, transportation in the form of the Rural Bus Pilot Programme, Industrial Technology, Home Economics, as well as for Computer Lab Techs, School Support Officers, as well as Social Premiums and Operational grants.

The total support to be provided to high schools for the 2018/2019 academic year stands currently at $8,399,223,635 (eight billion, three hundred and ninety-nine million, two hundred and twenty-three thousand, six hundred and thirty-five dollars), which is an increase of $435,807,270 (four hundred and thirty-five million, eight hundred and seven thousand, three hundred and sixty five dollars) over the previous academic year.

The operational and social grants to high schools will total $3,767,864,000 (three billion, seven hundred and sixty-seven million, eight hundred and sixty-four thousand dollars) in the 2018/2019 academic year. This is an increase of nearly fifty million dollars. This increase can be attributed to the almost 2,400 (two thousand, four hundred) increase in enrolment for the upcoming year.

Allocations for staffing support have also been increased by more than three hundred and seventeen million dollars ($317,000,000), and we have allocated two hundred

and ninety-two million, three hundred and ninety-seven thousand, nine-hundred and eighty four dollars to the Career Advancement Programme, which has been rolled out in all high schools.

These variations facilitate implementation of our K to 13 programme, ensuring that all students receive a full seven years minimum of high school education, and leave with a skill and improved work-readiness. We have also increased the PATH feeding grant by forty-three million, seven hundred and thirty-five thousand, five hundred dollars ($43,735,500.00).

Infant, All Age, Primary and Primary and Junior High Schools receive similar grants to high schools, but also receive financial support for clerical assistance, Environmental Wardens, water, Internet, Janitorial Support and Security grants as well as support for cooks and canteens.

The total allocation to be made for the upcoming academic year for these schools across all six regions is Four billion, two hundred and twenty-seven million, six hundred and seventeen thousand, seven hundred dollars ($4,227,617,700.00). The first allocation has already been sent to schools and will assist schools to prepare for the upcoming start of the 2018/2019 academic year in September.

Another three tranches will follow throughout the course of the academic year. The PATH programme accounts for the largest allocation to Infant, All Age, Primary and Primary and Junior High Schools, standing at Two billion, two hundred and thirty-one million, eighty-three thousand, nine hundred and fifty dollars ($2,231,083,950.00) for the 2018/2019 academic year.

Another Three hundred and twenty-three million, one hundred thousand dollars ($323,100,000.00) is budgeted for cooks support, and Three hundred and six million,

six hundred and ten thousand, nine hundred and thirty-eight dollars ($306,610,938.00) has been allocated for infrastructure and maintenance.

Regular grants totalling five hundred and eighty-three million, seven hundred and eighty thousand dollars ($583,780,000.00) have been allocated, in addition to the other areas listed.


HOPE Youth Summer Work Programme

The HOPE Youth Summer Work Programme will enable Jamaica’s young people to benefit from valuable work experience during the months of June, July and August.

The target group, aged 17 to 29 years, will be placed in various entities for a period of three weeks, where they will gain necessary skills for the world of work.

Since last year, the programme has been rebranded in line with the Government’s policy initiative of the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme.

The HYSWP is one of the flagship programmes that was with NYS and is now implemented in the merged entity of the HEART Trust NTA. The youth participate in interviews, orientation and placement for the three week period. This year for the first time and as a testament of the benefit of the merger, a pilot of over 6,000 participants are to be certified.

The third phase is slated to begin on August 13 across the island. So far, over 12,000 youth have been placed with more to be placed in August. We are grateful for the overwhelming response from both the public and private sector who continues to place our young people with over 4,400 placement sites across the island that volunteered to expose our young people to work experience.

The over 16,000 applicants to the programme include unattached youth, persons with disabilities, wards of the state, secondary students and tertiary students.



Number of youth placed 

PWDs placed 







August  (predicted) 




Participant type 

Stipend amount $ per week 


$ 10,100  

6th form 

$ 9,000 

Secondary 5th form with cxc 

$ 8,000 

Below 3 cxc 

$ 8,000 

Persons with disabilities 

*If fit in any other above category, that rate will apply 

$ 8,000 




Senator Ruel Reid

Minister of Information

[email protected]


Colin Steer [email protected]