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unemployment

Some viewers in Dominica of nightly CNN newscast may have been surprised at detailed and shocking reports of monthly job losses in the United States because of the current financial crisis.

But in spite of all the job losses many of our most productive and enterprise workers continue emigrating to the US in search of green pastures – hence increasing the steady flow of brain drain out of the Dominican economy.

Maybe they can also recall not long ago the labour party government was unable, or unwilling, to give the opposition a straight answer about the current unemployment rate in Dominica.

It’s amusing, we’re being bombarded with information for the United States about weekly job losses but we cannot complete an employment survey that we started almost six years ago. I cannot help to think that the unemployment figures are so unflattering that the government wants the nation on-a-whole to forget that it exits. Are the figures of employment so terrible?

It’s also discouraging, that the government is a shame to give the public a true picture of the rate of employment and the present economic situation. If our policy makers do not acknowledge that there is a problem – then they will seek no solutions.

In the final analysis, if we as small island nation fail to manage this crisis with rational responses then as the popular old staying goes “Crapaud Smoke Our Pipe”.

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brain-drain

If education is the key to development in any knowledge-based economy, then why is Dominica losing so much of its human capital? Maybe the choices are so few.

Dominicans are becoming aware of the large flow of our brains down the drain especially during the annual graduation season of students from Dominica’s Secondary schools and the Dominica State College.

Every year during graduation students are given well-meaning advice on the value of an education and the need to build on whatever they have learnt as they continue the journey of life.

But few of these so-called advisers address the fact that only a small percentage of the graduating students every year will enter the job market; a large number will join the unemployed on the street corner and dozen more will go overseas in search of so-called greener pastures.

Statistics shows that the out-ward flow of the country’s best brains has been so steady over the years that it appears that Dominica’s education system has been commissioned to train persons for the job market of the United States, Canada, Antigua, Guadeloupe, St Martin, Tortola, and other countries in the region. The problem is that these emigrants have been educated to secondary and tertiary level in Dominica and are Dominica’s most productive and enterprising workers particularly at their age.

When are we going to realize that knowledge is a wealth-creating asset to our country’s development? I’m literally pleading with government leaders, to please come up with some incentives that will encourage more of educated brains to stay and help develop our small island economy. Not someone else economy.

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