Henry urges students to assess labour market carefully

Saturday, March 04, 2017

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Director general of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr Wayne Henry, is encouraging students, in consultation with guidance counsellors and their parents, to assess the labour market before they venture on particular career paths.


He said this knowledge will assist them to choose careers that will still be relevant after they have finished their training and are ready for the world of work.


"At the PIOJ, we tend to track and forecast jobs of the future — what jobs are going to be relevant. Persons must be aware of what is there and what is relevant," Dr Henry emphasised.


He was responding to questions at a symposium focusing on the brain drain and migration of young professionals, at the University of the West Indies, Mona, last Thursday.


Dr Henry noted that the work of the Labour Market Reform Commission includes the establishment of a labour market information system, among other things.


The 18-member commission, which was set up in April 2015, has been mandated to oversee the review of existing policies and practices with respect to five thematic areas of the labour market, and to make recommendations for their revision to modernise the labour market and enhance the economy’s competiveness.


The thematic areas include education and training; productivity, technology and innovation; labour policies and legislation; social protection; and industrial relations.


Dr Henry further said that careers should evolve over time, adding that persons should seek to acquire additional skill sets.


For her part, founder of AIM Educational Services, Nicole McLaren-Campbell said the use of data that focuses on Jamaica would be integral in guiding the choices of students.


She also noted that the use of global statistics would be important, as persons will be able to examine what is happening in other countries.


Citing agro-business as an example, she said there are people who would be readily interested in that, but they do not know that it is a growing industry.


The symposium was organised by Global Shapers Kingston Hub, whose members are dynamic young leaders determined to effect transformational change at both the community and global levels by being inspirational, impactful, and action- and services-oriented.


The hub aims to make a positive impact on Jamaica, and in turn the world, through broadening the footprint of projects locally and engaging relevant stakeholders to bring forth youth opinions on matters of national importance. It also aims to act as a catalyst to motivate youth to speak up and play an active role in all decisions that affect the future of the country.

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