Shaw calls for increase in worker productivity

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Audley Shaw, has called for an increase in Jamaica’s productivity index so that the country’s economy can remain on a growth path. He noted that productivity is an issue that we have to confront more directly and in a more focused way. 

Speaking at the opening of an Organisation Development Transformation Conference at the Spanish Court Hotel, Worthington Avenue today, Shaw emphasised that as employment increases, production must keep pace with that growth, so that citizens can access improved services.

“Even though we have seen an increase in the country’s employment rate, we must now focus on incremental increases in worker productivity,” Shaw told the audience, adding that training of workers must also be an ongoing process.

He told the participants that while Jamaica has seen a decline in productivity, other countries are seeing monumental growth in productivity using technology.

“Data from the Jamaica Productivity Centre show that from 2013 to 2018 our productivity index has been on the decline.  We cannot continue like this.  2018 was the only year in which we saw positive labour productivity growth.  We have turned a corner so we have to keep it going in the right direction.  We have to keep that positive turn going,”Shaw said.

The minister emphasised further that a key pillar in our transformation and the solution to our low productivity output must be the correct matching of skills and talents within organisations, as well as, the strategic and prioritized training of workers. 

“We must move more decisively to incentivize education pursuits in specific fields that are aligned with global demands,” added the minister.

The two-day conference is being hosted by the Caribbean Centre for Organization Development of Excellence (CARI-CODE) and the Caribbean Organization Development Network (CODN) from May 21-22, under the theme ‘OD-2.0 Rise to Meet Opportunities of the New Decade’.  

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