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Apr 30, 2015

Labor Commissioner Says Belizeans are Under-qualified for Certain Santander Posts

Ivan Williams

So why aren’t Belizeans getting access to the higher paying jobs which require special skills? Well, because not many Belizeans have those skills. It’s as simple as that. Our vocational schools simple do not offer the level of certification required by the company. Williams says that this Santander ship has sailed where that is concerned, but it is something that will definitely need to be addressed by government, hopefully before other big investments come to Belize.

 

Ivan Williams, Labour Commissioner

“There’s a shortage of skilled labour in Belize. Somehow we have not been able to train as many people. No disrespect to the ITVETS in this country, but there’s a need to raise the level of training to the level that the industry needs because many employers will tell you that their needs are not only for helpers. They need skilled people. So as we speak, the Labour Needs Assessment of every business and the amount of people that we are putting out with skills needs to increase if we are to meet the requirements of large investments in Belize, particularly skilled labour. We’d like to see more skilled people get involved. But you know, we’ve had a history where people have been going more into academia than skills training, and until now we are recognizing that we need to increase the level of skills training up to a higher level to meet the industry needs. So as we speak, if there is anybody who has those requisite skills and cannot get a job, or claims that they are being displaced, or claims that they are not being paid equivalent to what other people are getting relative to the profession or the skill, we are prepared…as a matter of fact I told the workers that if any of you find yourselves in a position where you are doing a job equal to any foreigner or any other person, and you are not being paid the same amount…we have a law which says equal pay for work of equal value, so you should not be discriminated against with wages, providing though that you all meet the requirements or have the same skill level.”

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