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Jamaica Must Manage Human Capital to Keep Pace With Rest of World..Says PM

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Prime Minister Hon Bruce Golding has called on human resources managers, consultants and trainers to look at challenges that confront them in this fast changing world, but especially the challenge that will confront them in their professional capacities and try to reach some consensus of how those challenges will be met and which is the way forward.

He told them that Jamaica is in danger of being left behind if it is not able to keep up to speed and that the management of human resources is pivotal if we are going to keep pace with the rest of the world and to catch up where we have lost some ground.

Prime Minister Golding was speaking to human resources managers, consultants and trainers at the 27th Conference of the Human Resources Management Association of Jamaica (HRMAJ) Saturday, November 17, at the Sunset Jamaica Grande hotel in Ocho Rios.

Prime Minister, Bruce Golding

He threw out the challenges to the conference participants, noting that Jamaica has a surplus of labour but the real challenge is to develop strategies to manage that human capital. He said government is aware that it would have to start with the educational system starting from early childhood education.

Mr Golding said that ‘if we are able to give every child the best early childhood education that money can provide, more of them will be able to do well in primary and high schools despite the deficiencies. He said efforts will also have to be made to ensure that workers have a marketable skill with economic value.

The Prime Minister said his government intends to extend school leaving age from 16-18 years. ‘It is almost criminal to send home a 16 yr old. We want to use the extra two years to try and bring them to a signpost where we can direct them in the various directions”. He said the government would be working at reintroducing the apprenticeship program, and would be speaking with HEART to help businesses with on the job training. Mr Golding said the baton is in the hands of the human resource managers to ensure the environment is conducive to work.

Addressing the opening session of the conference yesterday, President of the HRMAJ, Mr Collin Bennett called on the government to look at the issue of flexi-time to allow for strategic improvements in lessening the traffic congestion, boosting production and increasing efficiencies. He also called on the Prime Minister to look at the Occupational Safety and Health Act which he said has profound implications for the safety and protection of the worker and the way businesses operate in certain environments.

The Human resource Management conference continues through Monday, November 19 with interactive workshops, the HRMAJ Bursary award and HRMAJ member of the year presentation.

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