On Monday, September 10, the Jamaican Government and the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) signed a Memoran-dum of Understanding (MOU) which established the Jamaica Employ Programme (JEP).
This initiative, the brainchild of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, is expected to provide 40,000 new jobs for young, qualified Jamaicans, for up to six months. Individuals recruited under the JEP recruits are expected to receive remuneration of J$6,000 per week.
Despite the seeming positive tenor of the Jamaica Employ MOU, and the nice ring of the number 40,000, some young university graduates have expressed a concern. Their concern is whether it even makes any sense to apply for one of the anticipated new jobs.
In the first place, their view is that six months cannot solve their fundamental problem. It is just not sustainable. What they want is a real, full-time job.
Also, they contend that J$6,000 just doesn't work out practically. It is an insult, after having paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for a decent education, to then be offered such a measly amount.
By the time they pay transportation and meal expenses, nothing is left.
These are all valid and logical concerns. And let us be clear too, that the mere signing of a MOU by the two parties doesn't mean that 40,000 new jobs are guaranteed.
On a television programme recently, where I was a guest, I suggested that unless the JCC members now actually followed through, then the MOU was for naught. Another commentator dismissed that idea on the basis that the JCC wouldn't have signed the Memorandum unless their members were on board.
The fact, however, is that there have been many instances in the past where organisations have given verbal commitments of all sorts, with no follow-through. So, until the JCC member companies actually create the employment opportunities promised under the initiative, 40,000 remains just a number on paper.
Despite all that, however, you should submit your application. Just because Jamaica Employ is not the perfect solution, doesn't necessarily mean it's a waste of time.
Working for six months is better than sitting at home doing nothing. Also, earning six thousand dollars per week might not be much, but it is better than nothing. With discipline and resourcefulness, you would be surprised what you can do with that money.
Now, you may or may not be a winner in the Jamaica Employ recruitment lottery. The fact is that the odds are stacked against you. But if you get lucky, then it could be an opportunity you could turn into something sustainable.
If you're selected, focus on creating value for the organisation. Use it as a learning experience, not just a money-making one. Show what you can do, with passion, diligence and creativity. Every company wants highly productive people who can add value to them, not be a cost to them. Demonstrate you are such a person.
Send in your résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org. You've got nothing to lose, and an opportunity to gain.
Glenford Smith is a Motivational Speaker and Career & Life Success Strategist. Check out his Smart Career Success Strategies newsletter at www.CareerBizAcademy.Com.