Preliminary reports from a labour market study being conducted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security indicate that there are employment opportunities in a number of industries.
The study, involving 606 organisations across the island, seeks to capture the perspective of employers island-wide on areas of growth and employment in the economy; gaps in the labour force as they relate to skilled labour; anticipated changes in the workforce; the extent to which migrant skilled workers are employed; and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, in his contribution to the Sectoral Debate on July 25, said that of the 606 respondents, 36 per cent reported that they had at least one vacant position over the past year.
"The percentage of vacancies was highest among the manufacturing sector, which was 54 per cent. This was followed by education with 41 per cent,” Minister Kellier informed.He said that employment opportunities were greater within businesses over 25 years old, with 49 per cent of these indicating that they had a vacancy over the past year.
The Minister said that approximately 34 per cent of employers in the study indicated that they had either a need, or additional need, for skills-training in their organisations in areas as diverse as administration, portfolio management, accounting, driving, customer service and teaching.
He noted that occupations in short supply included forklift operators, engineers, gemologists, urologists, pharmacists, and curators for museums.
Minister Kellier said the preliminary results from the on-going study show that only eight per cent of the employers in the sample recruited workers from abroad. Most of these were recruited to fill positions such as gemologists, senior executives/managers, urologist, teachers of science subjects, engineers and medical officers.
In so far as employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, Minister Kellier said the study revealed that 46, or approximately eight per cent of employers indicated that at least one person with a disability was employed to their organisation. He noted however, that 37 per cent of the cohort has expressed a willingness to employ at least one person with disability within the next 12 months.