Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles, has said that the Ministry has embarked on several programmes to retool and re-skill persons finding it hard to secure jobs.
Speaking at an information fair put on by the Events Management Group of the University of the West Indies’ Open Campus on July 3 at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, Mr. Charles noted that there are many persons, who have been laid off, who will never be able to secure another job without retraining.
“Some of us, who are over 40 and over 50, we are out,” he stated. He added that even younger persons whose positions have been made redundant, as a result of the economic recession, have no hope of securing another job in their field.
He pointed out that the era of typing pools, with 10 and 15 people engaged in typing, is a thing of the past, as one person can do the job of 15 on a computer. “So we now have 14 persons unemployed and they can’t apply for a typewriter work again, because when last have you seen a typewriter?” he asked.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles (left), examines one of the products made by the Jamaica 4-H Club, while shaking hands with School Garden Officer, National Garden Project, Ricardo Bryan. The 4-H Club was one of several organisations which had booths at the information fair, put on by the Events Management Group of the University of the West Indies’ Open Campus, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on July 3.
He disclosed that the Ministry has presented a proposal for a programme aimed at the re-tooling of such persons to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the World Bank, and the response has been encouraging.
In addition, the Ministry has a programme in place to prevent unskilled and unqualified young people from joining gangs and to reach those already in gangs.
He noted further that money earned from issuing work permits is being used to train Jamaicans in areas where there is a shortage of skills in the country. “Every work permit that I give out, you have to convince me and show me in writing that you have taken on a Jamaican to understudy the person with the work permit,” he pointed out.
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Pearnel Charles (right), accepts a gift from Assistant Project Manager for the Events Management Group of the University of the West Indies’ Open Campus, Janice Miller, at the group’s information fair, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on July 3. The event was held under the theme: ‘HOPE (Helping Other People Excel) in Recession’.
The information fair was held under the theme: ‘HOPE (Helping Other People Excel) in Recession’. The event was designed to provide practical information on ways to survive the current economic recession. The groups targeted were job seekers, persons made redundant, those on reduced work hours and persons seeking opportunities for training to acquire new skills for the job market.
Project manager for the event, Mitzie Burke-Green, said that approximately 5,000 Jamaicans have lost their jobs since the start of the year with unions predicting that the figure could reach 15,000 by the end of the year. She said the hope is that all the participants will “leave the fair with enough information they can utilise to make a positive change in our economy.”