Tourism Minister, Edmund Bartlett, is reporting positive responses and buy-in from sector workers and stakeholders who are to benefit from the soon-to-be-established Tourism Workers’ Pension Scheme.

The scheme, which is expected to come into effect early 2020, will require mandatory contribution by workers and employers.

It will cover all workers from 18 to 59 years in the tourism sector, whether permanent, contractual or self-employed. 

Benefits will be payable at age 65 years or older.

Speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, the Minister noted that the public awareness and sensitisation sessions have been bearing fruit with deep interest and enthusiasm from both employees and employers on how the scheme will impact the sector. 

According to the Minister, seminars have been held in all the main resort areas, including Negril, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Kingston.

He says they’re now on to the next phase of going to the hotels, then to the attractions and ground transportation.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Jennifer Griffith, says they’ve also rolled out a public education campaign with messages in print, electronic and social media.

Additionally, she says they’re doing one-on-one consultations with all of the tourism subsectors.

Minister Bartlett says the Ministry is soon to appoint a Coordinator for the pension plan programme, who will be responsible for doing the leg- work across the island to ensure that people understand and sign up.