Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Drive on to build 'culture of productivity'

Published:Saturday | November 12, 2016 | 11:00 AM

The Jamaica Productivity Centre (JPC) has embarked on a public-education programme in order to build a culture of productivity and to motivate persons to recognise the value of production to national development.

Executive director of the JPC, Dr Charles Douglas, said students are being targeted in the drive through a programme dubbed 'Be Productive'.

He said the initiative, which is under way in secondary-level institutions, has been going very well.

"If we get young people to understand the importance of productivity and inculcate in them that productivity sense, then when they get into the working world, they can help to convert others who are not as productive-minded," he reasoned.

Douglas said the education programme is necessary to improve some of the productivity indicators.

"We do productivity measurement at the national level, at the industry level, and at the firm level. At the national level, we know that some of the productivity indicators have been declining," he said.

He pointed out that total factor productivity (TFP), while showing some improvement, continues to be negative.

"It has been becoming less negative, but it is still negative ... it means that we are not using our resources as efficiently as we should," he said, noting that the public-education campaign is designed to reverse the trend.

TFP is the measure of the efficiency of all inputs to a production process. Increase in TFP usually results from technological innovations or improvements in labour quality and skills, best practices, and physical and social infrastructure.

"What we try to do is to expose young recruits to the techniques and the thinking, the philosophy behind what we do, so we have this in-house training, and where possible, we even bring persons from outside to assist with that training," he said.

The JPC is the national organisation responsible for promoting and facilitating productivity improvement in Jamaica.