Paulwell,who accompanied the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Peter Phillips on a recent visit to Jiuguan Iron and Steel (Group) Company Limited (JISCO) in the People’s Republic of China, was speaking at the last Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC) meeting on Wednesday.
Paulwell said “The understanding was reached in negotiations in 2015 and has been progressing since. However, the commitment was restated by JISCO that priority will be given to Jamaican workers,”
“JISCO reaffirmed that the Chinese workforce will be reduced as qualified Jamaicans are available,” the Shadow Minister told the committee.
This 2015 agreement has already seen several Jamaicans being granted full scholarships to attend training programmes in China in preparation for positions at the local plant. These scholarships have been granted in areas of specialization in alumina refinery and energy generation, among others.
Mr Paulwell also revealed that the management of the steel and aluminium giant assured the PNP delegation that the company will continue to pursue the expansion programme it envisioned in 2015.
Mr Paulwell welcomed the report from the SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE team to the PAAC that, among other things, the total number of Chinese workers at the plant currently is fewer than 100 from an initial high of approximately 300 when the refurbishing works commenced.
JISCO, which today, is among the world’s top ten producers of aluminium also employs workers in other areas such as electricity, engineering, and other technical services, among other career disciplines.
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