The Government is optimistic about increased job prospects for Jamaicans in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
“This administration is very much passionate about creating jobs (and) as it relates to the future of ICT jobs, the prospects are really looking up,” said Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley.
He was speaking at a Jamaica Computer Society (JCS) symposium on the theme: ‘The Future of IT Jobs’, at the University of the West Indies Regional Headquarters in Mona, St. Andrew, on Friday, June 9.
He noted that activities being embarked on, such as the transformation of public sector operations to a digitised paperless format, present significant opportunities, particularly for young people.
“There are many government agencies that, while they make the transition to a fully digital paperless operation… there is always going to be need for archival or back-file conversion activities that, in most cases, will require some form of manual data entry,” he said.
He noted further that with the United States Bureau of Labour statistics indicating that positions such as computer operators and data entry clerks are among the top 20 jobs in the US that were becoming obsolete, this “presents major employment opportunities for developing countries, like Jamaica.”
Dr. Wheatley said the administration is cognisant that ICT is a key pillar for economic growth and development, and that there is growing demand for technology specialists globally.
As such, he said, the Government will be looking to get unattached youth involved in ICT, adding that “we will make better use of our community access points and leverage them as training facilities for these youngsters.”
The CAPs are community-based centres that provide residents with ICT access. The Universal Service Fund, an agency of the Technology Ministry, is spearheading the establishment of these facilities.
Dr. Wheatley said the administration will seek to engage young people in the public sector digitisation exercise through the National Youth Service and apprenticeship programmes.
“These jobs will not only be beneficial to the public sector, but those persons who are so trained can now form part of the workforce within the private sector to help them with the whole process of digitisation and moving towards a paperless office environment,” he pointed out.
Source: Jamaica Information Service