Ministry signs MOU with Mico to share labour market intelligence

BY SHANAE STEWART
Observer staff reporter
stewarts@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, February 22, 2019

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THE Mico University College and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cement a partnership, with the aim of assisting individuals in their pursuit of higher education, through labour market intelligence.

Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson said that through the partnership, the ministry's Labour Market Information System (LMIS) will be able to disseminate relevant labour market information, engage in career development activities and populate the LMIS Skills Bank (persons who are trained and certified), with qualified skills produced by the institution.

Robinson said that according to the ministry's Hot Occupation Analysis Report teachers are in high demand, and teaching has been, and still is one of the top 10 jobs advertised in newspapers regardless of the time of the year.

She also noted that the report showed that there is a consistent need for teachers of mathematics, Spanish, French, science, and technical areas such as information technology and mechanics.

“The ministry recognises the tremendous role that training institutions will have to play in preparing our workers for future jobs and the ever-changing labour market,” Robinson stated.

She added: “The Mico University College is a school of excellence and has earned its respect for providing high quality education to Jamaicans and the Caribbean. For this reason, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is excited when we envisage the wonderful possibilities that will occur as a result of this partnership.”

Robinson thanked the institution for participating in the LMIS Adoption School Initiative where Evaughn McKenzie, a past student of Holy Trinity High, was granted a scholarship to pursue a degree in mathematics education.

McKenzie told the Observer that the Ministry of Education's LMIS programme has been of good help to him, and that last year he was awarded for maintaining good grades. He also said he holds the individuals behind the programme very close to his heart as they have continuously motivated him.

President of the university college, Dr Asburn Pinnock, was also enthusiastic about the partnership and considers Mico as being an imperative part in propelling teacher education.

“As the premier leading institution, we train more than 60 per cent of teachers for this country, and we are very happy to be partnering with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and the LMIS, as this will definitely help to empower the graduates of the institution,” he said.

“The partnership with the Ministry of Labour and the LMIS will enable the institution to use labour market research and trends to tailor teaching and learning. This will then lead to us to produce the most workplace-ready graduates to fulfil the demands of the local and international labour market. This venture will undoubtedly promote and empower our graduates,” Dr Pinnock added.

“Based on the Hot Occupation Analysis Report published December 2018, the teaching profession was listed at number three in 2017 and number four in 2016. The demand for teachers still remains high and the Mico trains teachers for all of these areas, and all our programmes are accredited by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ),” added Pinnock.

He also applauded the ministry and its vision to partner with educational entities in bolstering its efforts in effectively preparing a healthy, balanced and 'thinking' work force, which he believes is the foundation for a strong and booming economy.

The LMIS, established in 2002, is a mechanism through which information on trends in the labour market is collected, stored and analysed, then disseminated. It also provides job search, career development and job placement information,

These services are used by students, jobseekers, employers and even policymakers.


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