Employers encouraged to use skills bank

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Pearnel Charles, is encouraging employers to make use of the National Skills Bank to identify skilled job seekers within Jamaica.

The skills bank provides a list of skills that are available throughout the country parish by parish, category by category. Through this National Skills Bank, demand or shortages in various job categories can be readily identified and addressed.

“The government is seeking to make this pool/database of workers available to employers and entrepreneurs and fill their need for responsive workers,” Charles said while addressing the board of directors of the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) last week in Kingston.

The skills bank is a crucial component of the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System (LMIS), which has been revamped to provide information on the labour market and facilitate job placement and other services.

It is a web-based system designed to facilitate job search and placement and it provides for greater accessibility to labour market data about the economy, population and labour force.

The minister said the skills bank will also provide information regarding available jobs in the overseas market, including the wider Caribbean, where there is an urgent need for persons in certain health-related categories and other fields. These include: licensed practical nurses, caregivers, dental assistants, automotive technicians and drivers, among others.

Some 448 people have been placed in jobs through the LMIS. Between January 2009 and December 2010, the system attracted 3,313 job-seekers, with 1,122 persons securing interviews and 1,495 referred for training.

Charles encouraged members of the JMA to join the government in its effort to reduce unemployment, shape a qualified, responsive and efficient workforce and work to make Jamaica an ideal place in keeping with the Vision 2030 national development plan.

He said the government is working assiduously to alleviate unemployment as well as to implement specialized training programs to empower youth and workers.

The National Skills Bank, which can be accessed at www.lmis-ele.org.jm, gives employers and investors access to a database of available skills.

It is aimed at assisting in the effective mobilization of human resources, and facilitating the monitoring of occupational trends and changes. The database also seeks to promote productivity and competitiveness and provide information and analysis in decision making at the policy level. (JIS)

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