Jamaica JEEP programme begins roll out
OCHO RIOS, Jamaica, Monday January 23, 2012 - The Portia Simpson Miller-led government will on Wednesday begin rolling out the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP) in seven parishes.
The prime minister announced Sunday that 700 people will initially be put to work while other aspects of the programme would be unveiled in the coming days, including for the agriculture and information and communication technology sectors.
“When we talk about JEEP, we are not joking about it, and the other ministries and ministers are working to ensure that as soon as we can, the other areas of the JEEP will be unveiled,” she told a meeting of the National Executive Council, the first since the People’s National Party won the December 29, 2011 general election.
The JEEP – a response to the estimated 12.3 per cent unemployment rate - targets agro-processing, cultural and creative industries, micro and small business development, manufacturing, community transformational projects, and information communication technology.
Last week, Simpson Miller appealed to the private sector to employ at least one qualified individual under another initiative called ‘Jamaica Employ’, sparking criticism from Opposition Leader Andrew Holness that a Band-Aid approach was being used to deal with unemployment.
The prime minister brushed aside the comments stating, “For those who feel that my appeal might be careless to ask the private sector to help create some jobs in partnership with the government, then if it is not going to be done that way, how is it going to be done?”