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  • Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Audley Shaw, has recommended that the Government develop an overseas work programme to provide more employment opportunities for Jamaicans outside of the traditional areas of farming and hospitality.
  • He said the benefits gained would be increased remittances and Government revenue “and exposing more of our workers to an international work ethic that will redound to …increased productivity.”
  • He also called for incentives to enable more companies to provide on-the-job training.

Opposition Spokesperson on Finance, Audley Shaw, has recommended that the Government develop an overseas work programme to provide more employment opportunities for Jamaicans outside of the traditional areas of farming and hospitality.

He noted that the programme, which would be similar in structure to the farm and hotel work programmes, would reach a wider range of skilled Jamaicans, who are unemployed or underemployed.

“The Government should regulate the sector, register and license qualified operators, and charge a fee to these employment agencies as well as the successful applicants for overseas work,” Mr. Shaw suggested, while making his contribution to the 2015/16 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (March 17).

He said the benefits gained would be increased remittances and Government revenue “and exposing more of our workers to an international work ethic that will redound to …increased productivity.”

Mr. Shaw, in his presentation, also urged the Government to “ramp up” training of public sector workers through the HEART Trust/NTA and the Management Institute for National Development (MIND) in order to achieve higher levels of productivity.

He also called for incentives to enable more companies to provide on-the-job training.

“We simply must fashion policies at the workplace that provide the means by which the productive potential of our people can be efficiently (harnessed),” Mr. Shaw said.

The Opposition Spokesperson also noted that the Jamaica Promotions Corporation’s (JAMPRO) budget should be increased to enable the agency to fulfil its mission of finding new markets for Jamaica’s products including merchandising, and to attract new foreign investors to the country.

“This mission is more crucial now more than ever with the United States reopening trade and diplomacy with Cuba,” Mr. Shaw said.