By Lorraine Mendez
Prime Minister Andrew Holness has again sounded the alarm that Jamaica may have to import labour, due to a shortage of skilled personnel in Jamaica.
Mr. Holness said he received a call from a local business operator who expressed an inability to find 50 workers. Mr. Holness said the company indicated that it may have to source employees from overseas.
The Prime Minister did not name the business nor the industry in which it was involved, but outlined that he was not inclined to import labour, but will instead target unattached youth for training through the efforts of HEART/NSTA Trust.
"We have about 150,000 unattached youngsters without prospects. We must reach them, we must bring them into the labour force, because that is how the country is going to grow," he asserted.
"And HEART has been tasked with that, to provision them with the necessary support so that they can survive whilst they are in the process of training and then to expose them to the life skills that are necessary, and then to layer on top of that the technical and vocational base skills, and then to create a seamless passage for them out of idleness and unemployment into the workforce," Mr. Holness announced.
He was speaking Friday morning at the launch of the Jamaica National Service Corps Residential Camps for unattached youth from marginalised communities.
The six-week camps will be managed by HEART/NSTA Trust with funding from the European Union. It will target 260 participants per quarter.