Jamaican banks are being urged to look seriously at productivity within their operations, and to seek help in making improvements.
At a Jamaica’s Employers’ Federation (JEF) Members’ Forum Wednesday (June 23), Deputy Chairman of the Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC), Anthony Hyde, said he was concerned that banks are not approaching the JPC to work at improving productivity.
“It’s interesting that the request for services and assistance have been coming primarily from the productive sector. I have not heard of any area in the service sector, not one bank for instance, and we feel that banks could benefit more significantly from the services of the JPC,” he stated.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon Andrew Gallimore (left), greets President of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), Wayne Chen, on his arrival at the JEF forum on productivity at JEF’s office, Kingston on Thursday (June 24). Also pictured is Executive Director of the Jamaica Productivity Centre, Dr. Charles Douglas. The theme of the forum was ‘Transforming Enterprises Through Productivity’.
The JPC is a tripartite national productivity promotions and facilitation organization, sponsored by the Government, JEF and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU).
During Wednesday’s forum, the Centre received several commendations for the work it is doing, especially in helping manufacturers who testified that they were able to improve their productivity with the help of the JPC.
However, several participants shared Mr. Hyde’s concern that the banks did not appear to be trying to raise their productivity levels.
President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Omar Azan, noted that producers and service providers, in many instances, are not able to raise their productivity because they are unable to access low-cost credit. It was felt that the banks needed to become more efficient and reduce their costs, in order to provide better credit.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Hon Andrew Gallimore (left) is the centre of attention among this group of business and labour leaders attending Thursday’s (June 24) Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF) forum on productivity at JEF’s headquarters, Ruthven Road, Kingston. Others pictured from right are: President of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Omar Azan; President of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU), Kavan Gayle; President of JEF, Wayne Chen; and Chartered Accountant and Financial Analyst, Dennis Chung
“They have lost sight of the fact that if you can turn around a customer within short time, in terms of accessing loans, in terms of reducing the level of delinquency, in terms of just accessing credit that is increasing productivity. But, because there is no real threat facing them, they decline asking for the assistance of the [Productivity Centre],” argued President General of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, Kavan Gayle.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Andrew Gallimore, urged firms that have not engaged the services of the JPC to do so. He also urged those who have used the service to become ambassadors of the JPC, and spread the word about the quality of work done by the centre.