News

Official: Migration helping to shape Jamaica's economic, sociocultural frameworks

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


PERMANENT Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Collette Roberts Risden says Jamaica's economic and sociocultural frameworks have been largely shaped by the migration of the country's workers in pursuit of employment opportunities locally and overseas.

She said the country has seen significant remittance inflows from persons taking up opportunities abroad, which has had “a tremendous impact on national development and Jamaica's macroeconomic indicators”.

Data from financial sector stakeholders indicate that annual remittance inflows average US$2.3 billion, accounting for approximately 15 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

“I think I am correct in saying that remittances remain the number one foreign exchange inflow for the country,” Roberts Risden said.

She was speaking at the Planning Institute of Jamaica's (PIOJ) seventh Labour Market Forum at Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday.

The event, under the theme, 'Harnessing Labour Migration for Development: Improving Governance Mechanisms', was hosted jointly with the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) Kingston office.

Roberts Risden noted that locally, many rural communities have benefitted from the entry and exit of persons.

“Many communities have seen a reduction in unemployment, transfer of technology, and poverty rates falling. Additionally, at the individual level, we have seen where families' standard of living has increased. We have also seen where [the] education level of many children of migrants increases because, of course, there is the inflow of revenue,” she noted.

On the other hand, Roberts Risden said that there are disadvantages associated with migration, citing the loss of skilled or trained personnel to overseas markets and the resultant shortage on the local labour market, especially in professions such as teaching and nursing.

“We also see, on the social side, a breakdown in family because of the extended periods of separation of family members and absentee parents and the impact that has,” she pointed out.

Roberts Risden said that the challenge confronting the Government is to determine how best to “balance the needs of the local labour market, while protecting the jobs of [citizens]”.

She noted that strategies implemented “have to be the basis for any regional or national initiative to improve the management of migration”.

She said that engagements, such as the forum, are welcomed opportunities “to share experiences, discuss some of the issues and explore solutions aimed at addressing some of the challenges faced”.

The Labour Market Forum is intended to facilitate discussion and influence policy and programme development to harness the positive benefits and mitigate the negative effects of migration through shared lessons learnt.

Topics discussed included Labour Migration: Policies and Practice; Strategic Development of the Workforce for the Global Market; Jamaica's Labour Supply Chain and the Global Labour Market; and a panel discussion focusing on the topic Managing Labour Migration.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT