Leading management consultant Dr. Jacqueline Coke Lloyd has called for intense targeted training of Jamaican workers and the importation of specific skill sets as part of the solution to encourage rapid growth of the local economy.
Coke-Lloyd says a revision of education curricula at the secondary and tertiary levels is needed, as well as a look at what makes a wholesome society.
“There is unnecessary concern and panic regarding the importation of labour, as most growing successful and forward-thinking economies adopt this approach. Our own people migrate and are accepted elsewhere, so we can be strategic in injecting new thinking, skills and innovation. Many employers are unable to attract, retain and develop the required talent so therefore we need a bridging mechanism at this time,” states Coke-Lloyd, who is managing director of Make Your Mark Group.
She was delivering the opening remarks at this year’s staging of the Middle Managers’ Leadership Conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston.
The two-day event is being held under the theme “Leading from the Middle with Courage, Authenticity and Vision”, and aims to educate and upskill mid-management personnel about the essentials of team management, organisation growth and management, and the tools needed to lead by example.
Coke Lloyd, a former CEO of the Jamaica Employers’ Federation noted that the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI) also calls for the reorganisation of businesses, retraining of teams and retirement of absolute systems and processes.
“We are in an exciting but time-sensitive period in our lives where we are called even more so now to execute our vision with courage and authenticity in order to maintain relevance,” she said.
Also speaking at the conference, Metry Seaga, President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, commended MYMG for creating an incredible legacy by staging the conference for 13 years.
Underscoring the importance of the conference, Seaga revealed that a skills gap survey conducted in the first quarter of last year revealed that 42 percent of respondents said management leadership or project management as a primary skill required by their company.
He said this finding was supported by data from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security which indicated that of the top occupational jobs advertised, 185 were for managerial and supervisory positions.
Commenting on the new technologies disrupting the workplace at this time, Seaga noted that a survey done in 2020 showed that by 2025, an estimated 85 million jobs will be displaced by technology, but that some 93 million jobs will be created during that same period. He urged companies to invest in their middle managers providing them with quality training and competitive salaries.