Erica Virtue, Senior Gleaner Writer
The State agency in charge of training, the HEART Trust/NTA has identified close to 100,000 job vacancies locally but the Government entity with responsibility for labour does not know where these jobs are.
Following The Sunday Gleaner's publication of a HEART Trust/NTA 2011-2012 manpower gap analysis which showed jobs available in several areas, scores of persons contacted the Ministry of Labour only to be told that it was not aware of these vacancies.
Last week, labour ministry officials sought to explain its lack of knowledge, arguing that the HEART Trust/NTA was not required to provide it with information from its manpower gap analysis.
"There is really no requirement that HEART passes on such data to the ministry. But there ought to have been collaboration between all our state agencies, particular when it comes to employment issues. And from time to time we collaborate," Errol Miller, chief technical director at the Ministry of Labour told The Sunday Gleaner.
According to Miller, the labour ministry's research and electronic labour exchange departments "would have from time to time talk to HEART, Statistical Institute of Jamaica and the Planning Institute of Jamaica on these issues".
He explained that the ministry's research section, like the HEART Trust/NTA, examines labour market issues and conducts research.
Miller further disclosed that the ministry conducted research in 2011 to examine labour-market issues and to identify which were the "hot jobs".
"Comparisons and collaboration may well have been done with HEART in its 2011-2012 labour market analysis," said Miller.
According to Miller, he could not speak to the information contained in the manpower gap analysis.
However, on its website, the labour ministry says "it facilitates local employment through the national Labour Market Information System, and provides a one-stop data and information source for job search and placement".