JIS News

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles has said that there are many opportunities for employment overseas, but stressed that the Jamaican worker must first be certified.
“There are big opportunities for employment overseas but the bigger part of the opportunity has to be satisfied here. We have to train them (workers) and certify them,” he said.
“This year we are going to see to it that thousands of workers are upgraded,” the Minister told JIS News in an interview.
Mr. Charles noted that there are great employment opportunities in Canada for skilled workers. He said that his role is to get more Jamaicans employed and his mantra of ‘jobs, jobs and more jobs’ is not just a political propaganda, but a commitment.
“Jamaica has no right to have thousands and thousands of young people unemployed with CXC subjects and we can’t find anybody to go overseas to work. They don’t have to work in Jamaica, it’s a globalized world now,” he asserted.
The Minister pointed out that his intention is not to send all the workers from Jamaica abroad, but instead to increase the marketability of the Jamaican worker through training.
According to Mr. Charles, 70 per cent of the country’s workforce is not certified and as such, “by the end of this year we intend to have a major part of the country’s workforce certified, thanks to HEART Trust/NTA,” he said.
He emphasized that a collaborative approach has to be taken to solve unemployment within the country. “We want some time to restructure and reorganize and get the people on board. If you don’t come on board, it will not work,” he said.
Part of the problem of unemployment is that “we have not been asking the Jamaican employer to expand employment,” Mr. Charles reasoned.
A skills bank is to be implemented within a few weeks, which will capture the data of grade one skilled workers in all categories who attend the Ministry and are certified.
Dispelling the myth that Jamaicans are lazy, the Minister said that Jamaicans are hard working people who value their ability to work and as such their productivity must determine the amount they earn. “The fact is that people want to work. It’s a lie that Jamaicans are lazy. We need to put production as the target. The more you produce, the more you earn,” he argued.

Skip to content