The Hanover brain drain - stakeholders want Hanoverians who work in other parishes to send money back 'home'
Dr David Stair, the custos of Hanover, is of the view that one of the main reasons more residents of Hanover are seeking employment outside of the parish is because they lack the requisite skill sets needed by potential employers in the parish.
"You talk about employing Hanoverians here, but how many of them are employable?" asked Stair, while speaking at The Gleaner's Job Creation, Investment and Growth Forum in Lucea, Hanover.
"If you do not have the skill sets that are necessary for business people, they are not going to talk to you, especially nowadays when they can recruit people from anywhere.
"We need to identify what we have, what are the resources that we have on the ground, and then see how we can target these," Stair said. "We should be training people to do what is available. It makes no sense that you go to university and do astrophysics and expect to get a job in Hanover. We need to coordinate everything, and we need to plan ahead."
The custos was responding to comments from other stakeholders, who raised concerns about the fact that Hanoverians seem to have a penchant for seeking employment outside of the parish.
Councillor Anthony Walker, who represents the Cauldwell division in the Hanover Parish Council, had earlier stated that business places in Hanover were not providing enough employment opportunities for residents of the parish.
"The businesses need to employ more Hanoverians. It makes no sense to send me to school to get a good education, and then when I meet that requirement, you are going to tell me that you are not going to employ me in Hanover," said Walker. "When I see people on my same level from other parishes getting employed, we need to look at that."
Meanwhile, the Reverend Glenroy Clarke, pastor of the Lucea United Church and chairman of the Rusea's High School board, said there was a need for Hanoverians who are employed outside of the parish to contribute to the development of the parish.
"We suffer from migration and brain drain ... because there is no formal tertiary institution in the town of Lucea," said Clarke. "Historically, over the years, Hanover has been suffering from that kind of brain drain, and to get persons to come back to the parish is a challenge, because there are not many opportunities ... for persons to come back."
Jennifer Taylor-Wilson, general manager of the Hanover Co-operative Credit Union, shared the sentiments of the pastor, noting the need for those who leave not to forget the parish but to contribute to its development.
"We have Hanoverians all over this country and beyond the bounds of this country, and we want them to come on board [for parish development]," said Taylor-Wilson. "We have started, through the Hanover Chamber of Commerce, looking at getting those persons on different development committees."