The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Jamaica Household Workers’ Union (JHWU) that will promote the services of the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System (LMIS) among the Union members.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Colette Roberts-Risden; and Executive Member of the JHWU, Maureen Smith, affixed their signatures to the agreement at the Ministry’s offices in downtown Kingston on Wednesday (October 14).
The LMIS is an Internet-based system that helps jobseekers and recruiters to fill job opportunities. Through the LMIS, employers can post job openings and search for matching candidates, while jobseekers can post résumés and apply for jobs online.
The system comprises three main components – the Electronic Labour Exchange, Skills Bank and Labour Market Intelligence.
Under the newly signed MOU, the Ministry will, among other things, provide the JHWU with two desktop computers for use as an LMIS portal, along with a printer; manage the system; provide training to members of the JHWU on how to use the system; assist the Union in finding suitable candidates for vacancies it posts; and ensure that the requisite management/administrative personnel are put in place.
The JHWU, for its part, will mobilise its members to register to the LMIS’s Skills Bank, assist in promoting the LMIS and building awareness about its services, assist in finding suitable candidates for vacancies received or posted on the LMIS, collaborate with the Ministry to provide uploaded computer update once the skillset is available, and facilitate the installation of the two desktop computers provided by the Ministry at its office.
Minister Samuda in his address said that the partnership will enable the Union to embrace modern technology to expose and promote the skills of Jamaica’s household workers.
He highlighted the importance of this group of professionals in the society, noting that they are not only critical to the development of the economy but to the well-being of the household in which they are employed.
The Minister said that he has the utmost respect for household workers and pledged to improve on the good relationship that the Ministry has enjoyed with the Union, and also to ensure that the workers are protected from abuse.
Mrs. Roberts-Risden, in her remarks, said the MOU is timely and “has brought all parties together to improve the industrial climate and to promote harmony in Jamaica’s labour landscape”.
“We cannot overemphasise how important this partnership is to the Ministry, and we look forward to continuing our work with the Union, through the LMIS, to ensure our workers are trained and that their skills are improved,” she said.
Meanwhile, Board Chairman of the JHWU, Joyce Hewitt, hailed the collaboration, noting that it is in keeping with the continued advocacy of Union President, Shirley Pryce, for the rights and benefit of household workers.
“This particular partnership that we are signing today is a part of the dream of Shirley Pryce, in that she wants to have [an] institute for training, and this is a major step in that direction,” she said.
The JHWU was established in 1991 to represent the needs and interests of household workers.
It aims to ensure fair and just working conditions and wages for household workers, protect the rights of workers who provide domestic service; provide skills training in household management, and empower its members in achieving their personal and on-the-job goals.