Monday 20 May, 2019

Country running out of trained persons to fill some jobs, says Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

Prime Minister Andrew Holness

The country is running out of trained personnel to fill some vacancies, according to Prime Minister Andrew Holness.

“Right now, we’re creating jobs faster than we have trained people in the labour pool to fill. It’s a good problem to have, but it is not a problem that we want to last any time. This is a matter of national urgency and priority,” Holness said on Sunday.

He was addressing the 75th annual conference of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) inside the National Arena in Kingston.

Holness told his audience of thousands of green-clad party supporters, many of whom stood outside the arena, that 80,000 jobs have been created in the less than three years since the JLP regained state power in February 2016.

He said many more jobs are on the horizon in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, as well as those to come with the continued development of the logistics hub and the expansion of the ports.

“The BPO sector is expanding and we have reached a critical limit where we don’t have enough trained people ready to take up the positions, so we’re ramping up the training to ensure that we don’t reach a block on the growth of the BPO sector,” the prime minister said.

He told the conference that the next phase in ensuring sustained job creation is the development of the human capital, even as he said 10 years have passed since the transformation of the education sector.

The prime minister announced that he will be directing Education Minister, Senator Ruel Reid, to put together a national team to start a review of the successes or lack thereof, of some of the reforms that were undertaken in the sector 10 years ago. The aim is to “re-chart a course for the development of our education sector so that we can have enough trained people to meet the jobs that are being created,” Holness said.

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