Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, is encouraging employers and others in the productive sector to take advantage of its Labour Market Information System (LMIS), as this is an inexpensive approach to business and an easy way to identify suitable job candidates.
He said the LMIS represents one of the strategies to manage and respond to the current job market, as the Government seeks to foster and encourage economic empowerment, and human capital development over the short, medium, and long term.
Mr. Kellier, who was addressing the LMIS Job Readiness Poster Competition awards ceremony, at the Four Seasons Hotel, in Kingston, Wednesday Jan. 25, emphasised the need for developing countries such as Jamaica, to make greater effort to maintain sustainability in the labour market, by increasing productivity levels, keeping abreast of employment trends, and engaging in job-fitting, to satisfy the needs of employers.
He noted that statistics have revealed that employers are seeking workers with the right attitude and aptitude, technical skills, and experience. “We also saw where there was a demand for persons who were certified at the HEART Trust Levels 2 and 3, and those with first and (second degrees) were in good standing for work opportunities,” he added.
The Minister highlighted that several gaps were identified in the labour market, which include nursing, practical nursing, computer technology, mechanical engineering, and psychology, with areas of actual and potential growth being in the agricultural, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail sectors.
Mr. Kellier said the Ministry was therefore excited about the relevance and benefits of the LMIS to job-seekers, secondary and tertiary students, guidance counsellors, career developers, employers and parents. “We are presenting a one-stop location for information, and we’ve placed emphasis on youth, as we know they are a significant part of the job-seeking population,” he said.
The awards form part of LMIS Week, which is being observed from January 22 to January 27, to commemorate the launch of the LMIS in 2002, and to assist in the promotion of the LMIS website. The topic for the competition, ‘Job Readiness’, was chosen as a result of feedback from employers that they needed employees who were more prepared for the world of work.
The competition, which lasted from October 6, 2011, to November 30, 2011, saw 11 schools participating. It sought to: prepare students for the work world; increase the level of awareness of the LMIS website among the school community; acquire posters which will be used to promote the LMIS; and strengthen students’ knowledge of the visual arts.
The LMIS (www.lmis.gov.jm) is a web-based system, which provides a one-stop data and information source, as well as job-placement facility. It has four major components, which include: job matching facility, where job seekers post their resumes and employers can place vacancies; labour market intelligence, which provides information on labour market issues; a national skills bank, which gives employers and investors access to a database of available skills throughout the country; and related services, which include career counselling and funding sources for education and training.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter