A recently implemented workforce intervention programme between the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and various private sector organisations to provide short-term employment for young, skilled Jamaicans has been a success.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Derrick Kellier, informed that under the initiative, since May of this year, the Government has been able to place some 450 previously unemployed, young persons in private sector companies for a period of six months.
Speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the 'Jamaica Employ' programme, held at Jamaica House on September 10, Mr. Kellier said the initiative was one of several partnerships between the government and the private sector, geared toward reducing unemployment among skilled and qualified Jamaicans.
He informed that for the first three months of the workforce intervention programme, the employees are paid a salary of $6,000 per week by the Ministry, while for the remaining three months; their salaries are paid by the participating private sector organisations.
Mr. Kellier informed that the programme has been such a success that some participants have even been retained on a permanent basis by some of the companies.
Additionally, the project has attracted the attention of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which has engaged a consultant to work with the government to improve the conditions for its further implementation.
The Minister noted that under this initiative, two projects are being designed for the rural areas at a projected cost of $100 million.
He said it was against this background that the Ministry has decided to further partner with the private sector, through the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) for establishment of the 'Jamaica Employ' initiative, “to take our commitment of job creation to another level."
Under the 'Jamaica Employ' programme, a potential 40,000 Jamaicans could gain employment in the private sector, through the agreement signed between the Government and the JCC.
The agreement will help to forge a linkage between job seekers and prospective employers, through the creation of a registry accessible to the Ministry and the JCC and the various parish Chambers.
It will seek to facilitate the flow of information between the JCC and the Ministry, regarding businesses and companies seeking to employ qualified, professional workers and individuals who are graduates of tertiary institutions or skills training establishments.