Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, says that over the medium term, the Government will work to facilitate increased training opportunities for Jamaicans, to ensure a more productive workforce.
“Our people, of all ages, possess a wealth of talent and creativity. We are creating an education and training system which provides the best support for our learners. It will be flexible enough to re-skill qualified persons, so that they can adapt to changes in the labour market,” she said.
Mrs. Simpson-Miller was making her contribution to the 2012/13 Budget Debate, in the House of Representatives, on June 5.
She informed that, to this end, the Ministry of Education will strengthen its linkages with employers, labour market analysts and agencies for national and international certification, to ensure that graduates are more readily employable or are prepared for self-employment.
The Prime Minister further noted that skilled workers are in demand globally, and “we must grasp the opportunity” to prepare local workers for international employment.
She pointed out that overseas employers came to Jamaica recently, seeking 2,000 trained and certified trailer drivers, noting that these drivers normally earn a salary equivalent to J$86,000 weekly.
“I have mandated the Minister of Labour to work with the educational institutions that do training and to see where government can help, so that our unemployed young people, who would love to be engaged in this field, can be trained, so that they can get their certification and be able to access jobs internationally,” she said.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter