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The Realities of The Jamaican Job Market From a Tech Point Of View

Most young Jamaicans; university and college graduates, have become locked into the vicious failed cycle that is the Jamaican job market. There are very few options available with little prospects of creating your own job even if you develop a product that fills a niche and has attracted attention from potential customers. Why is this so? The answer is that in Jamaica there has developed a cycle of doom where you either conform with the norms of society or fail and leave the country to go make success somewhere else. For most, the latter is not possible and so many great innovators and entrepreneurs are forced to fall inline with a vicious system that robs them of their unique capacity of not only developing revolutionary products and services but also of their ability to make it big themselves. These persons will be perpetually stuck in this cycle of doom where they cannot help but cooperate with the system at hand regardless of the true capability that they as a person possesses.

Jamaican Government: “Young People Should Create Their Own Jobs”

The Jamaican Government is actively encouraging young Jamaicans to be creative and create their own jobs and relieve themselves of depending on others to provide them with employment. Joined in the payment of lip service to this idea are some notable persons in the private sector who, while standing high on the corporate ladder, lamblast average Jamaicans for not being creative enough and depending on the already established enterprises to supply them with the basic need of a means of putting a roof over their head and food on their table. However these high standing members of Jamaica and the government is not on the ground to know just how impossible their suggestions are to many, in this case it is not a matter of a lack of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit on the part of Jamaicans, trust me we have plenty of that, but it is the restrictions of a system which these very people presides over that makes it so difficult for any self developed enterprise to even get off the ground.

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Creating your own job in Jamaica is impossible for most young people because, well, you can’t actually get the funds needed to create your own employment unless you already have employment. How is this so? It is simple: no banks will lend you money for a startup business, for most financial institutions the business must already be running for atleast a year and have recorded income before they will even think of funding it. This prevents most average college graduations, fresh out of school, from ever developing the enterprise of their dreams or even of the market’s dreams. And don’t even think that having clients ready and waiting to use your exciting new product will make a difference in the bank’s policies; it won’t, those clients will have to wait until you scrape together the hundreds of thousands needed to provide the service/product, impossible for the vast majority who had issues even paying their college/university tuition. Since putting together the funds needed to deliver this product to the clients is pretty much impossible for most then the business will never truly get started and the would be clients would be forced to find other solutions. What does the person who had this idea worth potential millions have to do now to support him or herself? Simple, join the security forces which is the only readily available source of employment in Jamaica, or if that is not available go and work several hours a day at a call service agency for a meagre pay of $7500 a week, if this is also not available then there is always “Mr Chin” store where you will be gladly accepted and made to work atleast 60 hours a week on minimum wage($5600), almost half of which will be used up each week in fares to get you to work and for lunch on the job.

These are the realities faced by Jamaicans, the government and the so called private sector can come and put all their recommendations on the table on what a young Jamaican should or should not do but the realities are clear; not only are their recommendations nothing more than a cliche blabber on the talk of the year subject, but these recommendations are limited by no one else but these very people.

Jamaica lacks a seed financing institution, it lacks investors who will put their money out their on tech related developments, it lacks the facilities for persons to quickly develop their own ideas into a business, it lacks even an incentive for persons to register their company here with the still burdensome tax on the profit made by companies(25%). The last point will be my closing note and is a question directed at the government: After struggling to start my business with local policies and lack of infrastructure doing nothing but hinder me and making it less likely for my business to succeed, why should I then, after my business succeeds, be required to turn over a quarter of my profit to the very people whose negligence caused my troubles? Would’nt it be like getting hit by a car then struggling to walk for years afterwards because of the accident then being required to pay a quarter of your paycheck to the car owner for him hitting you?

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Horace is a military and tech enthusiast who spends most of his spare time listening to music or working on his many interests. He has a grasp of journalism and has been writing from he was 9 years old and has participated in several writing competitions throughout Jamaica.

Filed in: Caribbean Tech, Opinion Tags: , , , , , ,

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