JIS News

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles, is urging employers to certify and upgrade their employees in order to boost productivity, save money, and improve the working environment.
“We want all employers to require that their workers are certified and upgraded,” the Minister said, stressing: “we want to have HEART Trust prepare themselves to certify tests and upgrade employees. Without that you are going to run out of production…you are going to be putting in more and more money and lowering productivity.”
Mr. Charles was addressing the launch of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation’s (JEF) State of the Industry Report on Corporate Social Responsibility, and Private Sector Award function on Tuesday (July 22) at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
The Minister explained that employers have been using different methods to increase their production, but cited training and inspiration as the “only way forward.”
“Employers have been trying everything, even contracts to get a little production here.but only training and inspiration will do it” Minister Charles noted. He highlighted reports from a 2007 Labour Force survey, which indicated that a significant number of young people in the local workforce were inadequately prepared for the labour market. “Approximately 74 per cent of youths today are not certified,” he pointed out.
In the meantime, Minister Charles has lauded the JEF for its sterling contributions over the years to the development of the Jamaican labour force. He encouraged the organization to maintain its partnering with the Government to assist with its soon to be implemented Special Youth Employment and Training Programme (SYETP).
In June, Cabinet approved $37.5 million for the implementation of the project, designed as a short-term labour market intervention to promote youth employment, skills training, and overall youth development. It is part of efforts to address vulnerable and at-risk youth in the society.
The project aims to provide some 10,000 with jobs over the next four years, mainly for unattached youth, and will incorporate a series of activities to achieve this goal. These include: training in literacy and numeracy, skills training and certification, apprenticeship and job placements.