Good Morning to you all!
Last year, the Hon. Anthony Hylton and his team gave me an excellent briefing on the Global Logistics Hub. This piqued my interest in exploring how youth could best be prepared not only for employment in the businesses to be generated, but also for creating related business opportunities. Add to that the immense respect I have for the Caribbean Maritime Institute under the leadership of Dr. Fritz Pinnock and you will understand how our programme for this year’s Youth Consultative Conferences came into being.
Those of you who have participated in previous youth conferences under the IBI will know that we keenly promote youth entrepreneurism. We value the opportunity to:
- provide beneficial information,
- interact with you to better understand your concerns and
- also learn from you as you give recommendations for solutions.
Our hope is that these conferences will present youth with perspectives on how to enhance your ability to achieve your maximum potential. I have faith in the inherent creativity of our young people who often only need encouragement and an opportunity in order to shine.
Today, your County experiences the first in our series of conferences on the Global Logistics Hub.
This year’s theme for these Conferences of “Confident Youth Making a Strong Future through the Global Logistics Hub” reflects the vision that I have for our youth. The presentations today will clarify the Hub’s significance in our country’s development as we move toward the attainment of Vision 2030. You know the tagline for Vision 2030: “the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business”.
In the life of any country, fifteen years- the time remaining for fulfilment of that Vision- is very short. It is therefore critical that you know:
- the options open to you,
- the role you will play and
- the requirements needed to play this role effectively.
You need to understand how this major strategy for Jamaica’s development affects your future. Delegates, let me share three important points that should guide you during Jamaica’s journey to become a Logistics hub:
1. Invest in yourself: If you watch shows such as “The Innovators,” you will know that Investors do not back any venture without seeing the possibility of a return on their investment. Neither will employers hire anyone who does not appear motivated and capable of serving their needs. I encourage you to invest in yourself by developing or honing your skills which include the social ones. Invest the time necessary to learn how to improve your attitude and relationship skills. Expand your knowledge base. Invest in you so others will also want to invest in you. Remember that you are a key component for Jamaica’s success.
2. Position Yourself: Jamaica has the ideal location in the Caribbean for a Global Logistics Hub. Nature and our geography determined that and our policy makers are ensuring that we take the best strategic advantage of our location. In the same way, youth must choose strategies to position yourselves to seize the opportunities that will result from the Logistics Hub.
3. Be Prepared: The best strategy is preparation through training which leads to knowledge and skills certification. This Conference will give you some ideas about the potential for jobs or entrepreneurial opportunities. Research and utilize the training programmes that will be offered to better enable you to compete successfully for employment or attract funding for creating your own business.
Delegates, you were specially selected to participate in this Conference because we know that you will benefit from the knowledge gained. We want you to be messengers of the good news from this Conference. Spread the information to your youth groups, your schools and workplaces, so that your communities will have a better understanding of the growth potential available from the Logistics Hub. Explore with your Custos and community leaders how at the parish level that knowledge can be better diffused.
This conference is designed for you to not only be informed, but to provide feedback, including through your questions. We value your input. Most of you know that I am a teacher and so I understand that some of you might be shy to pose questions. Conquer that fear and remember that questions are critical to an increase in discovery and knowledge.
Bernard Baruch, a former US Presidential Adviser, recalling the prolific inventiveness of Sir Isaac Newton, linked his success to his thirst for answers. He said “millions saw the apple fall, but only Sir Isaac asked why.” Perhaps your questions will even help Dr. Pinnock and others to further develop initiatives for the Logistics Hub.
Our Custodes have long been convinced of their essential role in promoting Jamaica’s development, not only in word, but by their examples. One such example is their support of the Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE) of which the IBI is one component.
I am grateful to the five Custodes of Cornwall for their determination to secure the success of this Conference and therefore, its benefits to youth of this county.
Please join me in thanking them and extending appreciation to Custos Rotulorum of St. James, the Hon. Ewen Corrodus and his team for hosting this year’s conference for the County of Cornwall. The GGPE is highly dependent on our partners’ support.
This series of conferences would not have been possible without our partners Digicel Jamaica, Jamaica Public Service Foundation, Caribbean Maritime Institute, Grace Kennedy, Jamaica National Foundation, Jamaica Broilers Group, Junior Achievement Jamaica, the Sea Garden Beach Resort and Caribbean Airlines Limited. Ladies and gentlemen, please help me to acknowledge our Sponsors.
To our Presenters Dr. Fritz Pinnock, Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute; Ms Yanique Taylor, Director of Programmes of Junior Achievement Jamaica; Mr. Noel Watson, Operations Manager and Mr. Arthur Barrows, Maintenance Manager of the JPS Bogue Power Station and Ative Ennis of Digicel Jamaica: Thank you for partnering with us for today’s programme.
I deeply appreciate the invaluable work of my King’s House Team who tirelessly seek to ensure that our objectives are not only met, but frequently surpassed. Youth from the County of Cornwall: Believe with me that you have within you the potential for excellence and that you can achieve your dreams!
Believe that you are among the many Jamaicans who are what is right with this country and who will use their intellect, skills and resources to fix what is wrong with Jamaica!
Be confident that you have the capacity to run a successful race for yourself, your families and your country. I want you to remember when you leave here today to invest in yourselves and position Jamaica’s to become the next global logistics hub!
May God bless you all!