Wed | Aug 15, 2018

Migration leaches Jamaican talent

Published:Saturday | May 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM


Recently, I tried contacting my batchmates from college. With roughly 20 students graduating, having only one foreigner, it was shocking to find out that I was the only one who was still residing in Jamaica.

Many of those persons who had completed their BSc in medical technology had long left the field for whatever reason. One thing for sure is that all of those in my batch were quick to be employed by laboratories in Jamaica. Why then is the attrition rate from this profession so high?

Many students who are now studying at the two major universities in the island where this degree is offered do not intend to work in this profession. Instead, the aim is to immediately move on to further studies and later to medicine.

Once, especially the older, more seasoned medical technologists get comfortable in a position, the likelihood of them resigning is very low. Are these persons, therefore, patriotic?

One constant factor is that many medical technologists felt that while they worked in Jamaica, they were unrecognised and underpaid. Many lament the many years that they have worked, with little to show. Others boast of the opportunities that came to them for migration and how happy they are that they accepted. Now, most are proud homeowners with additional real estate.

Would one, therefore, say that our younger generation is not patriotic because as soon as they graduate, they tend to migrate? Are these older professionals more patriotic than the younger generation?

When a graduate has a student loan to repay and parents who are now expecting assistance, an aspiring young person cannot simply sit around with a degree, as our country does not have jobs for the vast number of college graduates.

Doesn't our Government realise that there is a migration of young minds? Why can't we develop good job opportunities here?

This Government seems to be well equipped with lots of Band-Aid for open-heart surgery. We do not have the right equipment for the job at hand.

Patriotic? What comes first? Starvation? Or job opportunity? I say the latter.