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Feb 16, 2023

Annual Gian Ghandi Memorial Lecture Looks at Key Topics of National Interest

The Annual Gian Ghandi Memorial Lecture was held today, with several key speakers presenting on topics of national importance. The first presenter was a lecturer at the University of Belize, Melanie Smith. Smith spoke about talent migration and development. Talent migrants are people who are seeking better opportunities outside their countries of origin, ready to settle wherever they find better opportunities. Smith drew reference to the medical field in Belize to paint a better picture of how this migration affects us.


Melanie Smith, Lecturer, U.B.

“A broad definition of a talent migrant is a person with high levels of education, usually having completed a tertiary-level education and above, likely to have advanced technological skills and extensive work experience. Some countries define it in more specific ways. High-skilled individuals play a fundamental role in the development and prosperity in the countries in which they live. They carry out jobs that are key for economic growth through innovation and technical advances. They can propel countries into competitive global markets and help specialized labour demands. The sectors the work in usually have high levels of productivity, thus contributing to the creation of new jobs. The areas where they work can influence high policy and decision-making, ultimately improving access to service and living conditions in multiple domains. Countries that produce their own high-skilled workers are more likely to have a large talent pool from which to draw from, whereas countries that have a small talent pool experience slow innovation and labour shortage. Not a lot of information exists in terms of high-skilled migrants in Belize but let’s look at the talent pool in the Belizean context. In terms of the medical field, the number of registered medical personnel working in the public and private sector as of the end of 2022, we see that Belize relies on only four hundred and eighty-three medical workers  to service a country with over four hundred thousand people, of which less than one-third are medical specialists. We only have eleven opticians and sixty-eight dental surgeons countrywide. Considering that we do not offer these degrees in country, the majority would have migrated from Belize to earn a degree elsewhere, migrated back home to work and a notable amount would also be high-skilled immigrants.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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