Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 26th 2015 Contents MARCH 2015 • WEEK FOUR www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG5
Chairman of MIC Insti-
tute of Technology,
David Lee, says skilled
employment would be
looking for pay that is
their skills, and not for
Lee, who chairs an institute that provides
training in manufacturing technologies, was
commenting on the issue of the labour
shortage which some business owners com-
plain is hampering their production and
the high salaries that must be paid to attract
labour needed to operate their businesses.
MIC graduates are employed in the
tourism sector, construction sector and the
industrial maintenance aspect of manu-
facturing and energy sectors.
Lee said skilled workers seeking employ-
ment would be looking for pay that is com-
mensurate with their skills, and not for less.
Last week Wednesday, MIC signed a MoU
with the University of Southern Caribbean
(USC). The signing would give MIC students
more options since they would benefit from
degree programmes offered by USC, and
the students attending USC would have
the options of the tech/voc programmes
provided by MIC.
The Institute of Technology produces
3,500 graduates per academic year at 12
institutions in T&T.
According to its Web site the locations
are: Macoya (3), Laventille, Moruga, Borde
St, Port-of-Spain, Mount St Benedict, San-
gre Grande, Ste Madeleine, Pointe-a-Pierre,
Point Fortin and Signal Hill in Tobago.
Products and services which MIC pro-
• Steel rule dies
• Heat treatment services
• Press tools new & repair
• Contract press services
• Precision parts new & repair
• Blow moulds new & repair
• Injection moulds new & repair
• Machine reconditioning & repair
• Jigs and fixtures
• Prototype & Special Machinery
Explaining the qualification a MIC grad-
uate must have, Lee said: "They come out
with a higher level certification as opposed
to somebody coming out of school, because
the MIC graduate is trained as a technician
certification. It really is dependent on the
wage offering of what the labour market
or the employers are asking."
There is full employment in the semi-
skilled type of labour, he said.
When you hear the hue and cry for
shortage of labour, it is really the KFCs, the
Subways, the unskilled market. When you
look at the high-end restaurants, they are
With certification comes expectations of
good pay. Offering a suggestion for the
labour shortage, he said, it may be because
job seekers are not getting the experience
"Really and truly what is happening in
this day and age is the microwave concept.
Before you can demand a decent pay, you
have to get the experience. I think that is
the dilemma that the nation is going through
with the youths. How do you balance that
waiting period of gaining the experience to
be able to command a higher salary."
Graduation ceremonies are a form of
"We have started to invite the potential
employers to be part of that graduation to
set up windows of opportunities to be able
to recruit right on board. It s a one-stop
shop as you get the graduates and you have
the potential employers."
Lee is satisfied that tertiary education
provided by MIC is demand-led.
"MIC works with the manufacturing sec-
tor to see what their needs are, the type of
training they would require. We have
tweaked our training to suit the kind of
potential employee that they would be look-
ing for. So the time period between waiting
for the graduate to get experience and
receiving a higher salary is cut down," he
Lee is a businessman by profession.
"One of the businesses has been in ship-
yard, especially in the skills sector where
I have employed more than 500 employees
ranging in skills such as: welding, electrical,
plumbing. From that perspective that has
been my experience working with
He added that MIC is the first accredited
tech/voc institution in T&T and the
Tertiary Education Minister Fazal Karim,
who also attended the signing of the MoU,
said the Government Assistance for Tuition
Expenses (GATE) programme would not
be removed and would stay in order to sup-
port training and development of people.
"I did indicate what we want to do is
improve on the efficiency of the GATE pro-
gramme so more people can participate.
We have implemented in some institutions
a grade point average which never existed
before in some institutions.
"There must be a minimum GPA of 2.0
for further study. That ensures that we
build into the system a potential for people
to excel and to maintain a certain level of
"If they drop below that, we have oppor-
tunities in all institutions to make sure there
is remediation of study. Our desire is to
ensure we increase the graduation rate and
we increase the employment rate."
Leadership, especially trust in senior leaders;
human resource management practices, in
particular, compensation; and communi-
cation, were the main concerns of employees
in a regional survey conducted by Quality Consultants
Ltd, which was completed in December 2014.
In the survey of over 2,000 employees from a
sample of 18 companies in five countries, less than
half of the employees gave their leaders favourable
ratings. Specifically, only 30 per cent of employees
say their top managers build trust by keeping promises
and admitting mistakes, while almost 40 per cent say
they don t keep their promises or admit mistakes.
Only 43 per cent say they believe what their senior
management says, while quarter say they don t believe
what they say.
Less than half have confidence in the decisions
their senior management makes, while almost quarter
have no such confidence. And only a little over half
(52 per cent) think their senior management provide
good leadership for their company.
Employees in this sample of regional companies
do not seem to have a very positive perception of the
people who lead and manage them.
Human resource management practices also scored
low among these organisations, with less than half of
the employees in the survey giving their companies
a passing grade in this area, and almost 30 per cent
failing them completely. Almost half of the employees
think their company is doing a poor job of keeping
its best people, and less than half believe their com-
pany s compensation package is competitive.
Compensation and employee benefits also figured
prominently in employees comments about their
Training and development appear to be the main
focus of most companies, as almost 60 per cent of
the employees rated this area favourably.
On the other hand, just over half say their company
recognises and rewards their top performers.
But all is not negative.
Over 80 per cent of the employees said they are
proud to tell people where they work. Employees also
gave favourable ratings for their company s customer
focus and corporate social responsibility, as well as
for their immediate supervisor.
The results of the survey have implications for how
Caribbean organisations are led and managed, how
they motivate and engage their employees, how they
keep their best people from leaving and, generally,
how they make themselves better workplaces and
employers of choice.
The survey results also have implications for employ-
ee performance and productivity, and for the per-
formance of the organisations themselves, as there is
a growing body of evidence linking employee satis-
faction and engagement to organisational outcomes
like customer satisfaction and profitability.
The good news is: there are companies in the region
that are getting it right and showing that it can be
The survey report covers three main industries:
retail and distribution, energy and energy-related, and
services. It gives normative and benchmark data for
the ten dimensions and 50 items measured in the
survey, and for the three industry sectors. It also iden-
tifies organisational strengths and weaknesses and
gives insights into the issues of concern to employees
that could be affecting their performance and pro-
Finally, the report provides recommendations and
best practices for improving employee satisfaction
and engagement in the organisations.
The report is available from Quality Consultants Ltd
at 628-2750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Lee, chairman, MIC Institute of Technology, left, with Fazal Karim, Tertiary Education Minister, and Clinton Valley, president of the
University of Southern Caribbean, sign an MoU last week. PHOTO: SEAN NERO
Chairman, MIC Institute of Technology...
Graduates earn higher wages
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