Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced at the official ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of 700 rooms at the RIU hotel in Trelawny on Wednesday, April 20, that the country is experiencing a “shortage in skilled labour”.
During the ceremony, he indicated that the country is not short on workers, however, it is short on skilled labourers who are knowledgeable and trained to undertake roles and functions in the growing construction industry. This he said will likely lead to the decision of importing skilled persons to fill the gap.
“What we are short of is labour. To be counted as part of the labour force, there are some standards that you have to meet, you have to be 16 years and older and you have to be actively seeking work over a certain period of time. There are many Jamaicans that are not in the labour force, not seeking no interest but could be brought into the labour force,” PM Holness stated.
Further on in his speech, he disclosed that the Government is considering a mandatory training service in skilled areas, and in doing so, discussions have been made with the Human Employment and Resource Training Trust/National Training Agency (HEART) to facilitate this over two years.
PM Holness noted that though HEART will be providing support in training persons, if this is not accomplished within the stipulated period, then there should be no “complaints” when workers are imported to the country.
Watch the video from Prime Minister Holness speech below: