Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Alecia Smith-Edwards August 19, 2014

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier (fourth left), cuts the ribbon to symbolize the official re-opening of the Ministry’s newly renovated Electronic Labour Exchange (ELE) offices, during a ceremony at its North Street location in downtown Kingston on Tuesday, August 19. Also participating (from left) are: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Alvin McIntosh; Senior Social Protection Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Donna Harris; and Principal Labour Market Specialist, IDB, Jacqueline Mazza. The ELE is the core component of the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System (LMIS), which is a web-based data and information source for job search and placement.

Users of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s Electronic Labour Exchange (ELE) can now enjoy improved services, following the opening of its renovated offices, on Tuesday, August 19.

Located at the Ministry’s North Street building, in downtown Kingston, the offices are now fully equipped with modern equipment. It was refurbished at a cost of $8 million through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The ELE forms the core of the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System (LMIS) and provides both online and offline services to jobseekers and employers.

It was established in January 2002 with the objective to link prospective employers with employees and vice versa, through a web-based medium. In addition to its web-based functions, the ELE provides offline services to job seekers, such as basic career counselling (resume writing, interview and job search techniques).

Addressing the re-opening ceremony, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, said the LMIS, within the context of the ELE division, represents a win-win proposition for all of Jamaica – job seekers, employers and the Government.

“The LMIS device, for example, when properly utilised, will function as a one-stop portal for providing linkages between job seekers and employers,” he said.

He noted that employers can post job openings and search for matching candidates at any given time. In addition, job seekers can up-load their resumes and actually apply for jobs online.

“The services offered by these devices are absolutely free of cost to the users, and job seekers and employers can access them via the internet, the telephone, or by visiting any of the Ministry’s offices islandwide,” he said.

The Minister said that over time, it will assist in increasing productivity levels through the use of labour market data to guide policy decisions in respect of training, education, and curriculum development for the workforce of the future.

Principal Labour Market Specialist for the IDB, Jacqueline Mazza, congratulated the country on the “great leap” it has made in terms of improved employment services, noting that the renovated offices now allows the Government to offer a more modern, client-centred employment and job information service.

Providing an overview of the project, the Ministry’s Director of
Manpower Services, Andrea Miller-Stennett, informed that the renovation of the offices resulted from the IDB’s Mission to Jamaica in August 2012.

The purpose of the visit was to consult and deliberate on the design of an investment loan and elements for a policy based loan to fund the Integrated Social Protection and Labour Programme.

Out of these discussions, a decision was made to improve the ELE to create a National Employment Portal involving the development of a modern user friendly website, and the expansion and upgrading of a wide range of employment services, all delivered in a modern, well equipped and customer friendly environment.

“Under the Integrated Social Protection and Labour Programme funded by the IDB, the LMIS website has been enhanced and the offices renovated. The entire office has been renovated and equipment, such as computers, new furniture, printers, tablets have been procured to enhance service delivery in the ELE,” Mrs. Miller-Stennett said.

She explained that the aim is to assist in preparing candidates, so they can be job ready and at the same time assist employers to find suitable candidates. She added that both sets of users can benefit from the labour market data on the system, which can be utilized to guide their decisions.
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