Samuda stresses need for increased skills to address climate change investments
Minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Matthew Samuda, says the skill capacity of Jamaicans must be increased for them to benefit from the investments that will be made in response to climate change.
He underscored that some climate-change solutions, like the replanting of mangroves, do not require technical skills, but coastal revetment does.
“How do we sufficiently explain the opportunities that these risks create and get people to forward plan, to commit to the courses that you (HEART/NSTA Trust) have, to ensure that their skill sets meet these opportunities when they come?” the Minister asked.
He was addressing the HEART/NSTA Trust Sub-Regional Summit 2023, held in collaboration with the International Labour Organization/Cinterfor, at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston on Friday.
The three-day Summit, which commenced on November 22, was held under the theme ‘TVET: A Pillar for Social and Economic Change in the Caribbean’.
Samuda explained that Jamaica is already experiencing significant impacts of climate change, such as prolonged droughts, loss of coastline, saltwater intrusion in wells, deteriorating soil quality, reduced pollination rates and increased warming and heat, which have exposed significant vulnerabilities in the country’s infrastructure and economic construct.
“We must build resilience into our economy, we must build resilience into our infrastructure, and that can only come from greening our investment process and from sufficiently skilling our population to build in that infrastructural resilience,” he said.
Senator Samuda noted that the country looks at its public investments through the lens of climate change and last year launched the Jamaica Systemic Risk Assessment Tool.
“It takes thousands of data points related to our infrastructure and has created a system of assessing risk to that infrastructure, whether it’s schools or water systems. We have done a full risk assessment of Jamaica’s national infrastructure, and that is a part of the public investment appraisal system that determines where money should be invested and in what order of priority,” he said.