MALDON, St James — MINISTER of Labour and Social Security Derrick Kellier has expressed concern over the alarming number of tertiary students who are not pursuing courses which would prepare them for the demands of the labour market.
"I must mention here an increasing concern for the ministry in recent times. It relates to the number of graduates leaving tertiary institutions each year whose training never seem to accomplish any real fit between the demands of the job market and the courses they pursued," Kellier bemoaned.
"The end result is that jobs may be available in different areas of the labour market, but many students do not have the specific skills for those openings."
The labour minister argued that it is particularly worrying for Government at this time, in light of the "high levels of unemployment".
He noted that Government is working assiduously to address the problem, as well as "looking at training with the view that the global availability of jobs must be used to guide career path".
"We have a web-based Labour Market Information System (LMIS)/Electronic Labour Exchange (ELE) designed to make this difference, providing labour market intelligence; career counselling services, job-matching facilities and a database of available skills for employers and investors to access," Kellier noted.
Meanwhile, the labour minister, who is also the member of parliamnet for South St James, noted that his ministry is busy registering participants under the Jamaica Emergency Employment Programme (JEEP).
He was speaking last weekend at the launch of the St James Youth Training and Job Placement Project, at the Maldon Baptist Church, Maldon, St James.
The project is designed to train and certify 200 young persons in South St James in information and communication technology skills, aimed at preparing them for employment in the operations at the Montego Bay-based Global Gateway Solutions.
The project is financed from the South St James Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and the European Union Banana Support Programme.