Shortage of vision, not engineers

Published: Wednesday | December 11, 2013 Comments 0


I was inspired to write this letter after reading an article titled 'Jamaica grinding to halt: Manufacturers say nation needs more mechanical engineers before economy crumbles', where Mr Howard Mitchell informed of the need to develop engineers for the survival of the Jamaican productive sector.

He was also quoted as saying that he is contemplating the recruitment of an engineer from Guyana to fill a void in his company.

However, I find it ironic, if not an insult, that such statement can be made, while we have the main universities churning out approximately 40 mechanical engineers (and, probably, 100 other engineers) each year - most of whom are unable to source suitable employment, and remain unemployed or underemployed. I am just one example of the many.

It is clear that what we need is a country that ends all the talk and takes meaningful steps towards a vision of a booming economy and prosperous sector. Too long have we had persons from various sectors complaining about a particular deficiency. Isn't it a signal that it's time for the Government, universities, industries, and professional organisations to collaborate in a more direct manner?

This would ensure that students get requisite training for easy assimilation into the workforce. It's time employers also appreciate that it's impossible to require prospective employees to all have 10 years' experience. There has to be investment, not only in new equipment and systems for the company, but also in the human element - the most valuable asset of any development.

Of course, all of this needs a pioneer and leadership to kick-start this initiative, and that's where we need leaders in Government who possess the genuine vision and qualities to put us on the right path to fruition. This is the only way we will achieve a Vision 2030 which, to date, remains only a vision with blind people looking on.


Mississauga, Canada

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