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Jamaica: Gov’t Takes On $2b IDB Loan To Develop High-Skilled Workforce

The government will be using a near $2 billion loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to finance the training of Jamaicans for high-skilled jobs.

The contract for the loan, valued at US$15 million, was signed on Friday and is repayable over 24 years. The interest rate was not disclosed.

The funds will be channelled through the Global Services Sector Project (GSS), which is the vehicle being used by the government to develop a high-skilled workforce that will enable Jamaica to take advantage of high-value jobs in the global marketplace.

The Ministry of Finance explained that the GSS project is comprised of two main components. The first component seeks to improve the skills development system to provide the GSS with better skilled workers, particularly, in higher value-added segments. The implementing entities for this component are HEART/NTA; the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information; and the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica.

The finance ministry explained further that the second component, for which JAMPRO is the executing agency, will attempt to strengthen Jamaica’s institutional capacity to increase investment and promote exports in the global services sector. It is expected that Jamaica’s capacity to attract investment and increase exports in high-valued segments will be significantly enhanced.

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