Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Jobs, jobs, jobs ... Ministry of Labour points to location of some private sector positions ... Cabinet could extend it to public sector

Published:Tuesday | September 27, 2016 | 9:00 AMMcPherse Thompson

With an increasing number of people looking for work, the Ministry of Labour is seeking to create awareness of its Labour Market Information System on which it currently has a listing of various full-time and part-time jobs available in the private sector.

Director of the Electronic Labour Exchange in the Ministry, Lyndon Ford, is encouraging employers to contact the ministry so it can match prospective employees with the skill sets they require for their organisations.

"It's totally free. What we actually do is have the positions posted on our website, so we would like to encourage employers to utilise the service as best as they can in order for us to put young, vibrant Jamaicans to work in the areas that they want," Ford told The Gleaner in an interview last Friday.

He said more than 900 employers have registered on its Labour Market Information System and have provided the ministry with the listing of the vacancies. It also has some 14,000 jobseekers registered on the site, most of whom are actively seeking work.

Among the job postings on the information system as at last Friday were for customer service representative, merchandisers, cashier, sales associate, housekeeper, engineer, janitor, retail managers, administrative assistant, plant and machine operators, IT technician, cooks, paralegal officer, receptionist, chef and practical nurse. (See example on this page).

Ford said the exchange liaises with employers and "almost acts as a job agency", matching job seekers with jobs posted on the information system portal, lmis.gov.jm.

Ford said jobseekers may also post rÈsumÈs on the website as well as use the site to apply for any vacancy.

When prospective employers decide to hire someone for the posts listed on the information system, the general approach they take is to contact the ministry, which then tries to match job seekers with the requisite skills to the jobs.

Ford said the exchange acts "almost as an extension" to some companies' human resource departments "by screening the respective job seekers. What we also do is to have what is known as employability skills sessions, which is preparatory work for persons with certain skill sets that have been asked of us from employers, and what we do is see how we can find the right fit, then refer those individuals to those positions."

 

Private-sector postings

 

At the moment, the Labour Market Information System has postings only for the private sector, but a Cabinet submission is to be made shortly to extend it to vacancies in the public sector, he said.

The information system has been in place since 2002, Ford said, but through the Inter-American Development Bank, it was enhanced in 2013, and that accounted for the growth in the number of jobseekers and employers on the database.

Ford said the ministry has been making linkages with labour-market players through several partnerships with stakeholders in the public and private sectors to boost the visibility of the information system across the island.

As part of that effort, they entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Manchester Chamber of Commerce to establish a satellite station in the parish that would allow free access to the public.

He said the ministry has also entered into an agreement with the Jamaica Library Service with a view to allowing persons access to the portal at every library across Jamaica.

Connections have also been made with the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica "with a view to do a ... partnership in terms of vacant positions", as well as with tertiary institutions and high schools to promote the information system and encourage students to register on the system.

On the information system, salaries are posted in some, but not all cases. Ford said individuals can get information about the range of salaries attached to different positions from the Jamaica Employers Federation survey, and for public-sector workers, from the Ministry of Finance website.

Jobseekers may also obtain information about available jobs from the HEART Trust and the JobBank websites, as well as the Office of the Services Commission website which carries a list of vacancies for government jobs.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com

The jobs below are among those posted in the ministry's Labour Market Information System

Post: Practical nurse

Location: St Elizabeth

Salary: $30,000 per month

Position type: Full time

Requirement: Practical nursing

And in this case no salary is revealed.

Job title: Electrical engineer

Location: Manchester

Salary: $0/mth

Requirement: Electrical technology - Bachelor

(with two years' experience)