CPSD report notes Jamaican employers have trouble finding suitable local workers to fill jobs
KINGSTON, JAMAICA — Many Caribbean businesses struggle to find and hire highly-skilled talent locally, often citing brain drain as a major challenge and lamenting the need to recruit foreign workers for jobs that could otherwise be filled by their nation’s citizens.
A recent Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) report on Jamaica, published jointly by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and World Bank, honed in on this issue.
The report noted, “Employers have trouble finding workers with the requisite skills, particularly in higher-value services.
“Contributing factors include a limited number of tertiary graduates in key fields — such as computer science, programming and engineering; brain drain; and lack of occupation-specific and socioemotional skills.”
The report noted the attempts of both governmental and non-governmental organizations to address the issue, notably labour market initiatives implemented in conjunction with the National Training Agency’s Human Employment and Resource Training Trust.
Additionally, it said, “The government has tried to encourage Jamaica’s large, relatively well educated diaspora to return, but the domestic job market offers insufficient incentives.
“Overcoming skill mismatches, particularly in higher-value activities, requires strengthening links between education and training provider on the one hand and future private sector needs on the other.”
Using talent acquisition to hire locals
Regional challenges, not just in Jamaica but throughout the Caribbean, in recruiting adequate workers for available jobs can be remedied through the use of talent acquisition services.
As compared to traditional recruitment agencies, online talent acquisition services like Caribbean Employment Services Inc. are less costly and more convenient. Being in a digital environment particularly, online talent acquisition services can help Caribbean businesses ensure they are getting the most qualified individuals for a specific job opening.
This can particularly be the case for the private sector, where the CPSD on Jamaica noted just under a third of large firms employ Jamaicans.
“Jamaica’s private sector exhibits a dualistic structure with a few large, often multisectoral, successful firms, and many micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” read the report.
“Although large firms contribute significantly to GDP, they account for just under a third of jobs. They are most active in tourism, finance, electricity and agro-processing.
“MSMEs, on the other hand, provide more than two-thirds of jobs and are mostly engaged in wholesale, accommodation and food services and agriculture.”
International Finance Corporation and World Bank - Creating Markets in Jamaica: Country Private Sector Diagnostic