Friday, October 17, 2014

By Shari-Ann Palmer September 11, 2014

Employers and jobseekers are being urged to make use of the Government’s Electronic Labour Exchange (ELE) facilities as the country seeks to improve its labour market outcomes and reduce the level of unemployment.

Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Errol Miller, said employers can take advantage of the inexpensive approach to recruitment as they fulfill their need for workers, while jobseekers can post their resumes to the Labour Market Information System (LMIS).

“Through the ELE, employers can post job openings and search for matching candidates on the LMIS website, while jobseekers can upload their resumes and apply for jobs online,” he said.

Mr. Miller was addressing the opening of a job fair hosted by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) through its ELE and LMIS units on Wednesday, September 10, at the Knutsford Court Hotel, New Kingston.

In addition to matching employers and jobseekers, the ELE also provides job search techniques, career counseling, resume writing, and access to information on scholarships and loans.

The ELE forms part of the LMIS, which has two other components – Labour Market Intelligence and a Skills Bank, which houses a database of skills and occupation within the labour market.

Currently the Labour Market Intelligence provides data relating to levels of employment, education levels of persons in the labour force, and the types of education and training, which would be required by the labour force.

Mr. Miller said the MLSS, through its Planning, Research and Monitoring unit, will update its information by conducting two research projects to unearth the types of skills and jobs in demand as well as the reasons for the low participation of women in the labour force.

Mr. Miller also pointed to the $8 million recently refurbished ELE facilities at the Ministry’s North Street Office, which he said, is part of the MLSS’ vision to reproduce similar centres in each parish across the island.

“This enhanced facility will allow us to strive towards our goal of customer service excellence while at the same time, providing greater offerings to our clients. Our overarching objective is to establish one-stop centres across the island providing job linkages between jobseekers and employers,” said Mr. Miller

Mr. Miller wished the gathering of employers and jobseekers well in their quest to meet their labour expectations.

“We hope the tips that will be shared today will help you to gain confidence and assurance for your job search, connect you to resources so that you can be more knowledgeable about the labour market and enable you to become active managers of your career paths,” he expressed.

In the meantime, representative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Janet- Jean Quarrie, reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment to the Government and the people of Jamaica in the evolution of its national employment portal.

The IDB approved a US$30 million loan towards the ELE in keeping with its mandate to improve human capital and the labour market outcomes of the poor.

Ms. Quarry cited recent ratings on the international level have shown major improvement in Jamaica’s macro economic situation and said the future outlook for the country is positive and hopeful.

Ms. Quarry said that the loan is to be used to “develop a private sector strategy and the use of job solicitors to increase job listings in growth sectors, to promote partnerships with the private sector through the development of satellite facilities in private sector entities and in parishes, and finance a series of baseline studies to support development and consultations on a national employment policy and strategy”.

The services of the LMIS are free of cost to the public. Its services can be accessed through the internet, the telephone or by visiting the Ministry’s North Street Office.

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