JIS News

Prime Minister Hon Bruce Golding says that if Jamaica is to keep pace with the competition on a global level, the productivity level of the Jamaican labour force will have to be moved further up the scale. In light of this he has already approached the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) to provide an annual index as to the productivity level of the labour force to determine whether it is getting better, holding its own or is slipping away.
Prime Minister Golding was speaking to human resources managers, consultants and trainers at the 27th Conference of the Human Resources Management Association of Jamaica (HRMAJ) yesterday (Nov 17), at the Sunset Jamaica Grande hotel in Ocho Rios. He said that much of the success of the performance of the labour force will rest on their shoulder in terms of how they are able to position that labour force and co-ordinate the use of that labour to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world.
The Prime Minister noted that we are now in a world where the rules of the game has shifted, the goals are bigger and therefore everybody was falling into line in pursuit of economic growth and activity. He said human capital cannot be excluded from the productivity process. “In this borderless world we live, we are facing a level of competition that we have never faced before. Investors looking for a destination to place their investment, no longer have a narrow list from which to choose. The competition is not just how we face foreign investment but how we hold on to our own market to maintain a share for ourselves. In order to compete, efficiency and productivity are the critical determining factors. We have to be that much better, more attractive. We are dealing with competition from all over the world and we have to look for that advantage”, Mr Golding said.
The Prime Minister said there are some elements of the country’s production that are fixed, such as energy and as such Jamaica was competing against countries paying less for energy and so did not have the power to gain that competitive advantage.
In light of this he said the country would need to look at human productivity. The Prime Minister said Jamaica does not have a shortage of labour and so the government was going out for those kinds of investments that create as many jobs as possible. He said this would have to be done because it is the only way that Jamaica will be able to absorb some of the excess labour and to be able to tackle some of the social problems of crime and violence.
The Human resources Management conference continues today and tomorrow with interactive workshops, the HRMAJ Bursary award and HRMAJ member of the year presentation.