Honourable Pearnel Charles, Jr., MP, JP was appointed Minister of Labour and Social Security on May 22, 2023. Prior to that, he was Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. He is also a two-time Member of Parliament, currently serving in South East Clarendon.
Minister Charles Jr is a former Government Senator and Member of Cabinet where he served as Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change. Prior to this appointment, he served as Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation with responsibility for Water, Housing, and Infrastructure, preceded by his tenure as Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade with responsibility for Diaspora Affairs and the National Council for Coastal Zone Management, among other areas.
Minister Charles Jr also served as Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security, where he had portfolio duties for the Department of Correctional Services, the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force, and special projects within the national security portfolio.
Pearnel Charles Jr. is an Attorney-at-Law qualified to practice law in Jamaica and the United States of America. Throughout his professional career, he served with distinction as a Judicial Clerk, Senior Clerk of Court, Crown Counsel at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and as the Lead Counsel and Managing Attorney of The Law Offices of Pearnel P. Charles Jr.
The Minister is a former President of the Law Society and a former Guild President of the University of West Indies where he earned two honours degrees; a Bachelor of Science (double major in Biochemistry and Zoology) and a Bachelor of Laws. Additionally, he holds a Master of Laws degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington D.C. where he was awarded the Thomas Buergenthal Scholarship for academic performance.
Pearnel Charles Jr. was born with a passion for community service and, as a youth advocate, he participates in community activities geared towards uplifting underserved communities and protecting the most vulnerable. He also continues to serve as the Chairman of the UNESCO Youth Advisory Council.