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Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda (second left), signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish partnership with the University of Technology (UTech) to promote the Labour Market Information System (LMIS), during a ceremony held at the Ministry’s North Street address in Kingston, on October 23. Also signing (from left) are Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Colette Roberts Risden; and Acting President of the University of Technology (UTech), Professor Colin Gyles. Observing is Director, Public Relations and Communications in the Ministry, Vando Palmer.
Photo: Michael Sloley

A total of 7,050 persons have been successfully placed in employment through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Labour Market Information System (LMIS), for the period 2008-2020.

The LMIS is an interface job-matching system that permits increased access to the labour market intelligence. It has three major components – the electronic labour exchange (ELE), the labour market Intelligence (LMI) and the skills bank.

The system provides both online and offline services for jobseekers and employers across various industries and is free of cost to the user. Currently, approximately 39,315 jobseekers are registered on the system.

In an interview with JIS News, Director of Public Relations and Communications at the Ministry, Vando Palmer, informs that for the 2019/20 fiscal year, the Ministry targeted 1,200 persons and was able to place 1,292 individuals.

“For the 2020/2021 fiscal year, our target was set at 1,400 but that was revised downward to 575, because right at the beginning of the financial year, we had COVID-19 intervening and, therefore, it has had a significant impact on what we would have been able to achieve, so we would have revised that downward to 575,” Mr. Palmer says.

He notes that one of the top priorities right now is promoting the LMIS and building awareness about its services.
“When you have a service like this, one of the top priorities is basically to heighten our public awareness campaign, so that persons can know about the system and know about the benefits that the system provides,” Mr. Palmer says.

“So, we want them to have ease of access and navigation of the system. We want to make the registration time faster and also for [persons] to be able to manipulate the data, especially for the employers, and to provide more access to both employers and jobseekers to labour market intelligence in Jamaica,” he adds.

The Ministry recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Technology (UTech) and the Jamaica Household Workers’ Union (JHWU), aimed at promoting the services of the Ministry’s LMIS.

“In the case of UTech… you have the students now being able to know what is out there in terms of the skill sets that most employers are looking for, the ones that are in demand and, therefore, they will be able to wisely choose their courses at the institution, so that when they are through with that formal education, it will be easy for them to go into job placements in the job market,” Mr. Palmer tells JIS News.

“We are able to collate data as to what is in demand, what skill sets the manufacturers or the service sectors are looking for and, therefore, UTech now will be able to utilise this data to develop courses for students in preparing them for work,” he adds.

As it relates to the MOU with the Jamaica Household Workers’ Union, Mr. Palmer says this will allow persons to use the system to see where the jobs are.

“[It will enable them] to see what people are asking for in terms of the quality of persons they want to engage in their household, what qualification they would need and, therefore, can take steps to upgrade themselves and get themselves ready for placement,” Mr. Palmer informs.

The Director of Public Relations and Communications tells JIS News that employers are willing to utilise the services of the LMIS to find potential employees.

“There hasn’t been any drawback as far as we have seen so far. A lot of them have established very strong working relationships with the employment service representatives that we have here and so because of that, you will find that a lot of them go through these persons to assist with résumés and shortlisting, as well as to set up interviews,” Mr. Palmer says.

“But, as the system becomes more and more easier for them to navigate and to manipulate and to have access to, I am sure that they will be moving in that direction [of using the LMIS], because we are in the technological age and most of the things we are doing here now will be technologically driven,” he adds.

Currently, jobseekers are not able to upload their résumés directly to the website.

“However, a templated format of the résumé is being used and what this does is it allows the user to enter his or her information in segments, for example your name, your address, telephone number, your email and so forth, the objectives, your education and your experience. Persons are then required to save and submit that résumé template as their official résumé and this will be saved to the LMIS website, (https://www.lmis.gov.jm),” Mr. Palmer notes.

He points out that the information can be accessed by jobseekers, as well as perused by an administrator of the LMIS and then sent to an employer, if it matches any job that is posted on the website.

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