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LETTER OF THE DAY - Private sector proactive

Published:Saturday | September 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Because of pressure from the International Monetary Fund, this administration has been forced to implement a raft of pro-market reforms, thus causing prominent voices in the private sector to praise the finance minister for his resolute nature.

The usual performers in the private sector like GraceKennedy, LASCO, Jamaica Producers and a few others are developing growth strategies, but the country's success does not hinge on the vision of a few corporations, it must be a collaborative effort.

Since operating a business in Jamaica is associated with exorbitant costs, rational persons do not expect entrepreneurs to make unwise decisions, but this does not prevent them from being strategic. Employers often complain about the limited number of skilled graduates available to them. Therefore, they ought to follow global trends and play a proactive role in training knowledge workers.

For example, Cogent Britain's skills council for science-based industries in partnership with five universities recently established the Higher Apprenticeship Programme for Science Professionals. This initiative will greatly enhance the marketability of graduates by providing them with new skills that are needed for their various professions.

Furthermore, the issue of youth unemployment at more than 30 per cent is a troubling issue, but countries with lower numbers, like Switzerland, have an apprenticeship programme that is supported by the private sector, with two-thirds of Switzerland's secondary-school students being apprentices. Luckily, this programme is not limited to technical sectors alone.

Private entrepreneurs are no longer waiting on schools and governments to create policies. Many of them, like SAP, an international software development company, are creating their own. This global enterprise launched the Business-Technology Early College High School earlier this month in New York. It will be required to develop an industry-relevant, technology-focused curriculum. Students will also be exposed to apprenticeships and other work-based learning experiences.

The perfect business environment does not exist, so our entrepreneurs should stop complaining and become proactive, because not everything is within the control of the Government.

LIPTON MATTHEWS

lo_matthews@yahoo.com