JAMAICA’S BIGGEST HURDLE IS AN UNEDUCATED WORK FORCE

Even the workers with college degrees are not educated I have discovered. What is amazing in Jamaica is a strong culture of hustlers, but not a strong culture of innovation or go getters in creating new business models or products that are game changers.

It appears that a fat pay check and liming at the hot spots and having your picture appear on page two of the pink skin page is the ultimate accomplishment for majority of professionals.

When I was growing up here I heard that Jamaica was a third world country, then a developing country. But it appears that most locals think first world or developed status equates to how modern your cell phone is or how modern your new or used imported ride from Japan, UK , USA and a fancy house upon some earthquake prone hill.

It is this culture or mind set that appears to set in the minds of young college students that all they have to do is say the right things, bend over backwards just right, or know the right people and all will be well.

Yes all will be well, but not well in the field of innovation. Not well in the field of creating new products and services that can be adopted globally and become USD10 billion or more company.

I guess what I am saying is that Jamaica could take a page out of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, and the San Francisco Bay Area in respect to knowledge creation, innovation and tech start ups and their ability to add value to the city, state and country.

There is absolutely nothing wrong in wealth, or being mega rich. But brown nosing your way around will not build wealth. Cheating your way or seeking a easy way out will not create wealth. It comes from sacrifice and hard work and dedication with a lot of luck will not hurt.

Just being in the right place at the right time as a company, with a product or service. Having the right team around you, and in an environment that will lend itself to such innovations and creation of opportunities.

I can safely say that outside of mega hotels, the telecom sector, alcohol production, food importation, and services industry Jamaica does not have much to offer entrepreneurs who do not fall into one of the major economic sectors with heavy funding and strong political connections.

Add to that a very colonial culture of wannabe aristocrats who believe that through birth right and not merit that all wealth belongs to them and you have a country heading nowhere fast. Add to that citizens still trapped to the plantation thinking that society owes them something without working for it, and you have a state that will remain backwards.

For if Jamaica is to progress, it will need to educate the educated and the uneducated alike. It will need to understand the value of contracts, the value of a free market system and also the value of intellectual capital being a very important if not the most important assets a country can posses.

Weeding out bad managers, bad politicians who impede entrepreneurial economic progress is equivalent to educating an illiterate person. As the very business managers, politicians promote many of these uneducated and illiterate persons within communities, businesses into positions of power when they have no business being there.

Can you imagine key positions being held by political activist who only know covert activity, subversion, and criminality as the norm?

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