NWDA disputes quantity of professionals out of work

| 17/03/2015 | 7 Comments

(CNS): The National Workforce Development Agency has disputed the recent interpretation by CNS of data released to a reader about the profile of its 485 job seekers. The release of the information appeared to indicate that at least half of the unemployed locals were looking for work in what could be defined as white-collar, professional work or jobs that required either tertiary education or significant relevant learning on the job.

However, NWDA officials said a more appropriate description of its registered clients looking for work would be that half of them are seeking professional type work but they may not be graduates or professionals.

Christen Suckoo, acting chief officer in the labour ministry, said the article could be misleading as the agency has a different interpretation of what a professional really is.

“The list that the NWDA provided in response to the FOI request is a list of roles that clients have indicated they are interested in … (or) feel they are qualified for,” he stated.

He pointed to the listing showing a job seeker registered as a prison director in the job listings. This, he said, was not the former prison boss but another candidate who had ticked that job definition as something he felt qualified for.

“Clients can select multiple roles and occupations and as such any one client can be counted multiple times throughout this data. It is also important to note that the coding drills down occupations,” Suckoo said. He explained that various possible jobs in the same field may be ticked by the same job seeker multiple times.

However, CNS had taken that into consideration and counted only where jobs were ticked more than once indicating more than one job seeker when we made our assessments of the document.

Suckoo acknowledged that the view CNS had taken about a simple difference between skilled or professional job seekers versus those without skills or training was the basis of the article but said this did not necessarily line up with the NWDA’s formal classification of professional jobs.

Suckoo indicated that as far as the NWDA definition was concerned, the term ‘professional’ applies to around 15% of the registered job seekers.

The government job agency defines a professional as “an individual, who operates with a high degree of autonomy within their roles, utilizing special training obtained from an accredited programme or accredited institution … Training may extend to include specialized certification recognized by a certifying or accrediting entity, and where the position may include a first degree at a minimum.”

Despite how the NWDA defines professionals, many job seekers are making it clear that they believe they could do a variety of roles and have ticked a range of occupations they are interested in pursuing.

With government unclear on exactly how many local people are unemployed or how many ar under-employed, speculation is mounting regarding the real figure. North Side MLA Ezzard Miller disputes government claims that unemployment has fallen to just 4.7% and maintains that local unemployment is probably higher than 11%.

Although Employment Minister Tara Rivers and the Chamber of Commerce are on the same page that the NWDA needs to become the central clearing point in the country for both job vacancies and job seekers, less than 25% of the government’s own estimates of unemployed locals have registered with the government unit.

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (7)

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  1. Bareback Boy says:

    It has nothing to do with the quantity, the issue has always been with the quality. Time to stop perpetuating the myth of Caymanian unemployment and go get a job.

  2. Anonymous says:

    One side says over half are looking for jobs requiring certain levels of education/experience, while the other side says over half are looking for jobs requiring certain levels of education/experience. The only difference is one side leaves unsaid the fairly universal fact that some folks MAY not meet the requirements of jobs they’d like to have. Some dispute.

    • Anonymous says:

      Will you please tell this to the three Caymanian College Graduate IT professionals that I know with multiple certifications (the same EXAMS the expats took) as to WHY they cannot even get an interview in their professional field?? Shall I NAME all the banks and law firms that have turned these highly qualified locals away while eventually getting PR for their local staff? At this rate, no locals will be able to enter their chosen university field. The LAW has failed us.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Blah Blah Blah … that’s all we hear from the NWDA – they have no clue what is going on!

  4. Anonymous says:

    who the heck will believe anything coming from the NWDA, these ppl need to be without jobs then may be they will show some real interest in the unemployed.

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