Minister Clarke says the country cannot continue to ignore the issue
KINGSTON, JAMAICA — Many businesses are struggling to fill vacancies for jobs in Jamaica, according to Minister of Finance and the Public Service Nigel Clarke.
The minister recently said that the challenge is nationwide, and added that action must be taken to address it sooner rather than later.
Clarke said, “This is a national problem. We’re seeing it in the BPO (business process outsourcing) sector, in terms of ability to attract labour.
“We’re seeing it in the tourism sector. We’re seeing it in the restaurant sector – it’s huge in the restaurant sector, and it is something that we can’t ignore for much longer…
“The tightness in the labour market is a real issue that, as a country, we’re going to have to address.”
While Clarke pledged to see what could be done from his “neck of the woods” in government, his comments underscore why talent acquisition services like those provided by Caribbean Employment Services Inc. are so critical.
Businesses that employ Caribbean workers, both regionally and beyond, can use professional resources like Caribbean Employment to stay on top of the labour market, and therefore beat out the competition.
STATIN struggling to hire for jobs in Jamaica
In fact, the matter of the tight labour market was brought to light as members of government discussed the plight of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) in completing its 2022 National Census.
However, Minister Clarke said a major reason for the delay in its completion was because STATIN has been experiencing difficulties with attracting and retaining staff.
While the organization aimed to engage some 7,000 workers to complete the census, it has reportedly not been able to recruit more than 4,000 at any point in time.
Even further, it has been plagued with high turnover rates, with many staff leaving they had already been trained.
This could exacerbate delays as new staff would then have to be recruited and trained from scratch.
Clarke said STATIN had to increase the salaries of census takers by as much as 100 percent “just to compete in the labour market.”
“...Those fees, we doubled in response to the fact that attracting talent and attracting people has been so difficult,” he said.
Emphasizing the issue, he added, “The nature of the challenge has to do with the tightness in the labour market and the availability of persons to fill that role.”