Unemployment in Jamaica is one of the many issues affecting the country. Before we talk about unemployment, it’s important to know what it is. Unemployment is when an individual is actively seeking employment, but is unable to receive any. Now that we know what unemployment is, do you know what the unemployment rate is in Jamaica? According to Trading Economics, a website that conducts worldwide economic survey, “the unemployment rate in Jamaica has increased to 9.70% in the second quarter of 2018, from 9.60% in the first quarter.” https://tradingeconomics.com/jamaica/unemployment-rate If we are to combine all this information, we can conclude that the unemployment rate of 9.70% in Jamaica only represents those persons who are unemployed and are actively seeking employment. These figures would not include those who are not actively seeking employment, even though they are not employed. Is it safe to say then, that the unemployment rate in Jamaica is higher than the statistics mentioned on these economic websites? That’s something to definitely think about.
While conducting research for this blog post, I came across an article on a social and lifestyle website called The Balance. In the article written by one of its authors, Kimberly Amadeo, there were several reasons stated as the cause of unemployment. They are as follows: demand- deficient jobs (too many applicants, few jobs), advance in technology (computers /robots replace workers), job outsourcing (foreign workers are employed as labour cost is cheaper), voluntary (persons leave jobs and choose to live off savings until they find their desired job), relocation (workers leave jobs as they move due to unrelated reasons), newly entering the workforce (new graduates seek jobs that match their new skills) and workforce re-entry (persons who stopped working for a long period are seeking jobs again). https://www.thebalance.com/causes-of-unemployment-7-main-reasons-3305596 I also found several other articles stating similar causes of unemployment. While these are all solid reasons for unemployment, there is one reason that I did not find in these articles. This reason is, persons who do not have work experience are unable to receive employment in their field of qualification. This is a very real cause of unemployment that affects many persons, mainly university and high school graduates. These individuals are usually qualified for the job, however, due to a lack of work experience they are unable to gain employment. I believe that there are many ways to solve this issue. Here are Sharla’s Thoughts.
I agree that it is important for recruits to have not only qualifications, but experience in the area they are submitting applications for. However, recruits who have recently graduated high school, university or a training institution, will not have the required work experience that recruiters are seeking. The only way these recruits will gain experience is if the companies that are recruiting give them a chance. My suggestion is for these companies to employ the recruits on a probationary or training basis, and allow them to work alongside those persons who do have the experience. This will allow recruiters to conduct performance evaluations to determine if the new recruits are able to perform their assigned duties. Once a fair and objective evaluation is conducted, and it is found that the recruit can indeed “get the job done”, then they should be employed.
Another suggestion for recruiters is to evaluate recruits on not only work experience and qualifications, but also evaluate based on other activities they may have been involved in or they are currently a part of. These activities can include volunteer work, sporting activities and being members of club organizations. Persons who are involved in these activities are usually required to have good communication skills, interpersonal skills, multi tasking skills, organizational skills, to name a few. If they don’t already have these skills, they would be able to develop them when participating in these activities. These skills are very similar to those that companies usually look for when hiring new employees. You might be surprised to find that the recruits who lack work experience, sometimes do a better job than those who are experienced.
There are also things that persons with no work experience can do to give themselves a better chance at gaining employment. They can participate in volunteer activities within their church, community or country, become members of clubs in their community and/or participate in sporting events in their community. When they participate in these activities they will learn a lot of the requisite skills that recruiters usually look for when recruiting. Recruiters will also see that while they lack work experience, they are trainable and already have the required skills.
My final suggestion for recruits, is for them to be confident in their job search, and practice answering interview questions before an interview. Once they have most or all the qualifications for the job, even though they lack the experience, they should still consider applying. If they are able to show the recruiters that they are trainable, have the right attitude and skills they may be considered for the job. Another thing recruits should remember, is that while they may not be selected for their job choice due to lack of experience, they may be selected for entry level positions. These entry level positions, may eventually lead to their dream jobs, as most companies promote from within. These are just a few suggestions recruiters and recruits can consider to help eliminate the no work experience = no job issue. Now you know my thoughts, tell me what you think.