Public Employment Services
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In 2009 Belize committed to reorganize and modernize its Public Employment Service (PES), in order to provide traditional employment services and also influence vocational training, career guidance and entrepreneurial skills development. As part of this effort, three officers from the Ministry of Labor of Belize visited Jamaica for a week in order to observe the day to day functions of the Jamaican PES and to identify best practices that can be used to further develop the PES in their country. According to the participants, this on-site visit was a “stellar success” and the objective was met significantly.
The delegates from Belize were exposed to many programs and initiatives, which allowed them to have a comprehensive panorama of PES and its linkages with training and information systems. Among the main initiatives analyzed during the visit are the Electronic Labor Exchange (ELE) which is an internet based employment system, the LMIS and its Technical Advisory Committee (LMITAC), the main operations of HEART Trust which is the National Training Agency and the Youth Empowerment Strategy (YES). In addition, delegates met with representatives from the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU), the Jamaica Employers Federation (JEF) and the Office of Placement and Career Services of the University of West Indies.
At the end of the visit, the participants identified very specific lessons learned that will be used to further develop the Belize PES and which are clearly explained in their Final Report. They also identified some key next steps to be undertaken by Belize’s Ministry of Labor: Prepare a procedure manual for PES, train employment officers in all aspects of services offered by PES, develop and internet-based employment system, introduce programs similar to YES, establish a stronger relationship with their training institution, and develop a Labor Market Information System to create crucial linkages between the PES and workforce development and education systems.