G2K urges Gov't to export labour

Published: Saturday | January 26, 2013 Comments 0

THE GOVERNMENT is being urged to consider putting in place the framework for the export of skilled labour to other jurisdictions.

Floyd Green, president of Generation 2000 (G2K), the young professional arm of the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party, said the proposal could benefit the country.

"If we don't have enough jobs here and we have people who are trained, I think it would serve us better if the Government were looking for opportunities outside of the country that they can facilitate our young professionals taking up employment in other jurisdictions," Green said.

The suggestion is among proposals put forward by G2K for the streamlining of the cash-strapped Students' Loan Bureau (SLB).

Green has suggested that the engagement for this export of labour be done in such a way that young professionals are captured in both the tax and SLB nets.

"What is happening is that our students are taking it upon themselves to go out and look for these jobs and then you lose them," Green argued.

"I think the Government should look, especially in the Caribbean and Latin America, and see where it is that there are employment opportunities and where we might have readily trained professionals here and do some government-to-government collaboration for the exportation of our labour."

REALIGNMENT NEEDED

In the meantime, G2K has renewed the call for the granting of loans by the SLB to be aligned with national priorities.

Pointing to information from the SLB which indicates that approximately 58 per cent of the graduates who owe student loans are unable to find jobs, Green said the grant of loans should have a direct relationship to national development goals.

"There are a number of areas in the country that we do not have enough employees for," he said, pointing to disciplines in medicine such as pharmacology and forensic science.

The G2K has also suggested that the days of education tax being directed to the Consolidated Fund should come to an end.

"This could provide the Government with the much-needed equity to attract education-specific loans to help finance tertiary education," the G2K said.

The Government is projecting to raise $15.5 billion in education tax this fiscal year.

The SLB told a parliamentary committee this year that it is not in a position to give any commitment that it will be able to provide the $6.4 billion needed for the 2013-2014 academic year.

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