Chairman of Seprod Group, Paul B. Scott, is warning of the clear and present dangers of what he says is Jamaica’s shrinking workforce.
Scott argues that this situation is getting worse due to a number of factors such as increased migration and Jamaica’s climbing death rate. He reasons that, “Jamaica has a death rate of 8.8 in 1000. It has a birth rate of 15 in 1000 and has a migration rate of 7.4 in 1000. This means our workforce is shrinking. While our population may be stagnant we are replacing workers with babies!”
Delivering his forward on Seprod’s just published 2022 annual report, Scott writes, “we have to face the fact that it is not possible to eliminate the migration of teachers, nurses, managers, truck drivers and technical people to our northern neighbours. But what we must do is to replace them. This requires an immigration policy.”
Continuing, the Seprod chairman made the point that the growth and future of the company is directly correlated to the talent within the organisation; similarly in the countries in which the company operates in will grow, as their productivity and consumption grows.
He cites certain positive developments in Jamaica such as the country’s unemployment reached a record low of six per cent in 2022 and at time of writing his report, reached 4.5 per cent, which he contends “is extremely positive.”
Turning to the wider CARICOM market as a whole, Scott is seeing significant tightening of the labour markets arguing that efficient labour markets will facilitate economic prosperity in region whilst calling for policies to foster economic growth, which he says need to be human centric.
The Seprod chairman declares that the company, which is one of Jamaica’s top regional conglomerate, is a proud member of the CARICOM Private Sector Organisation, whose mandate is to lobby and help the integration of a CARICOM free market. He is adamant the CARICOM free market must include free movement of labour within regional bloc.
In concluding, Scott posits, “our region needs to be able to utilise all our combined talents to grow. We hope the region works to make this a reality sooner rather than later. In addition external capacity must also be seriously considered.”
Source: Our Today
September 10, 2023