Thu | Dec 7, 2023

What does the country have to offer graduates?

Published:Thursday | March 16, 2023 | 12:18 AM


I am writing this letter out of concern for the number of Jamaicans who are migrating to seek a better life. Brain drain is a major issue in our island, Jamaica. As a university student, most of my peers have spoken about leaving the island after finishing their degrees. I have also seen where even persons who have been in their profession for a while are also seeking jobs overseas. Individuals leave as they seek better salaries, education and healthcare. Some are also looking for an escape from crime, violence and corruption.

I have heard the saying, “If yuh want good, yuh nose affi run”. Jamaicans are leaving to work abroad because they get better opportunities and benefits. In 2022, many nurses and teachers were among other professionals who migrated. This had a huge impact on our country. The nurses and teachers who remained on the island had to work overtime, while being underpaid, as the industries were severely understaffed.

I think about life after university. I do not want to contribute to brain drain in Jamaica. But what does the country have to offer? When I finish university, I am sure the cost of living will be a lot higher than it is now. I will most likely be underpaid, and crime and violence is getting worse. Will I be able to afford anything? Will I be safe? Will my family and I be able to survive here? These are just a few questions I ask myself.

I believe that to retain our citizens and their skills, they need to be made comfortable. Work on a plan to limit crime and violence and corruption in the country. Work on the healthcare and education systems by first trying to satisfy the individuals in these professions. Give them proper salaries, give them reasonable promotions, and encourage great work environments. Satisfied workers will produce satisfactory services, which will produce a happy nation. Try to accomplish Vision 2030 by making Jamaica ‘the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business’.