JIS News

With a report on Jamaica’s Productivity levels over the past four decades showing a recurrent trend of low productivity, State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, has said that there needs to be improvement in productivity and efficiency within the public and private sectors.
Speaking at a JIS Think Tank session yesterday (Oct. 28), ahead of the launch of Jamaica’s first productivity report, Minister Gallimore said that in order for the country to be competitive within the global marketplace citizens must take productivity more seriously.
“We have been failing as a nation where productivity statistics are concerned. For several decades now, our statistics have been trending in the wrong direction, and so we need to find a way to work together to improve our competitiveness. There is tremendous room for improvement in productivity and efficiency within the public and private sectors. We need to ensure that every citizen is a part of this drive for increase productivity,” he stated.
The productivity report, which will be launched at the Ministry’s North Street office on Wednesday, November 5, will outline Jamaica’s productivity levels over the period 1972 to 2007, with a focus on labour, capital and total factor productivity.
According to the Labour State Minister, the Government is aware of the need for a paradigm shift in terms of how people think about productivity and have taken significant steps to lead the process of transformation towards improved output.
“There are macro economic factors that have hampered our productivity levels,” he pointed out. “We have higher security cost, higher interest cost than many of our competitors and these are issues that we have to pay attention to,” he noted.
He said that there is an ongoing education programme “whereby we are trying to get to the young minds in the latter years of high school. We have been working closely with the HEART Trust/NTA to ensure that the idea and concept of productivity is part of their training curriculum. At the end of the day, when we decide what we want to do, we have to find the best way to do it. This involves making sure that we understand what the best practices are internationally and acquaint ourselves with the most current technology.”
In the meantime, Mr. Gallimore is encouraging Jamaicans to take part in this year’s National Productivity Week, which will be held from November 9 to 12 at the Knutsford Court Hotel under the theme: ‘Transformation for Sustainable Competitive Advantage’.
“I am inviting all Jamaican’s to fully participate in National Productivity Awareness Week as this is one of the activities that we believe will help to improve our productivity and thereby have a chance to improve our standard of living,” he encouraged.

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