EGC Says Education and Training Must Align with Labour Market Demands

Photo: Donald De La Haye Twenty-two year old Robert Lewis wraps a piece of furniture at Boss Furniture, in Kingston, where he has received permanent employment through a Social and Economic Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities Project done through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • Economic Growth Council (EGC) member, Senator Kavan Gayle, says there is need for a detailed labour market information system that identifies emerging jobs and the attendant skill sets, in order to tailor education and training to meet industry needs.
  • Noting that there is a “mismatch” between education and the demands of the labour market, Senator Gayle said there must be greater alignment of both to address job trends.

Economic Growth Council (EGC) member, Senator Kavan Gayle, says there is need for a detailed labour market information system that identifies emerging jobs and the attendant skill sets, in order to tailor education and training to meet industry needs.

He was speaking during the EGC’s first quarterly meeting at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston recently.

Noting that there is a “mismatch” between education and the demands of the labour market, Senator Gayle said there must be greater alignment of both to address job trends.

“The Economic Growth Council believes that education and training play a fundamental role in achieving the economic growth target (of five per cent in four years), so we need to develop that labour market information system that provides the (data) to support (this),” he said.

“The Council is proposing that in the financing of education, whether it is loans, credit, grants, sponsorships or scholarships, (that) it be geared towards the emerging labour market,” he added.

Senator Gayle, who is the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union’s (BITU) President General, suggested that institutions develop strategies that will guarantee access by beneficiaries to training and certification.

He further emphasised the need for the consistent provision of quality workplace training programmes “because there are those who are not (likely) to be part of the formal education training process.”

“We have to work in tandem with the providers of labour and the educational institutions; we are taking recommendations from the Labour Market Reform Commission,” he added.

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