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  • The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has commended Jamaica for the quality of its educational offerings.
  • Senior Specialist, Skills and Employability, Dr. Hassan Ndahi, who is based at the ILO’s regional office in Trinidad and Tobago, said the country has achieved much in education.
  • He urged all stakeholders to join the Government in continuing to provide quality education for national development.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has commended Jamaica for the quality of its educational offerings.

Senior Specialist, Skills and Employability, Dr. Hassan Ndahi, who is based at the ILO’s regional office in Trinidad and Tobago, said the country has achieved  much in education.

“Jamaica has done so much in education, even in the area of technical and vocational education. When I travel to other counties, I always speak about Jamaica, because you’re in front and some people may not understand, because sometimes you do not know how good your systems are,” he said.

Dr. Ndahi was speaking on: ‘Skills mismatch and how it affects Economic Development’, at HEART Trust/NTA’s inaugural Labour Market Research Day, on February 16,  at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in Downtown, Kingston.

He urged all  stakeholders to join the Government in continuing to provide quality education for national development.

“It is not only the responsibility of the Government, but everybody. Quality education is critical to national development. No matter how you explain the factors of production, you come back to one central issue, the human resource. It is central to productivity and the development of any country,” he emphasized.

The Research Day, themed: ‘Labour Market Information: A National Imperative for Career and Economic Development’, was aimed at raising greater awareness about labour market research and information and in so doing, promote its use and benefits.

Dr. Ndahi pointed out that since the global economic meltdown of 2008, renewed focus has been given to the supply and demand of skills, and with the unemployment rate of youth in the region reaching double digits, countries must work to address any area of disparity between the two.

He listed three key areas of skills mismatches, which should be rectified. The areas are: skills shortage, skills gap, and qualification mismatch.

Dr. Ndahi said skills shortage is when the demand for a particular type of skill exceeds the supply of skilled labour and that a skills gap is when persons are either underskilled or overskilled for jobs. Qualification mismatch occurs when there is no relationship between an individual’s job and his or her qualification, he added.

The Senior Specialist suggested that in order for countries to provide its citizens with quality education, it should be sustainable.

“This means adequate resources and suitable funding must go into education and it has to be everyone. In Jamaica you have done well in this area. This is one of the first countries in the region to develop a training fund, followed by Barbados. If all the other countries in the region will do the same thing, it means the region will grow,” he said.

The Research Day formed part of weeklong activities for HEART’s annual National Career Development Awareness Week, being observed from February 13 to 19 under the theme: ‘Career Development: A National Imperative’.