Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, is encouraging middle managers to become transformational leaders within their organisations by supporting their entities’ ultimate vision.
“You must find out where senior management or owners want to take the organisation and how you, as an individual middle manager, can help in that process,” he said.
The Minister was addressing the opening ceremony for the eighth annual Make Your Mark Consultants Middle Managers’ Conference, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on Tuesday, April 25.
Senator Reid said the evolution of transformational leadership was predicated on a vision shared by all parties within any entity in terms of “how does your department fit in with the bigger (picture) of the organisation’s goals and objectives”.
He argued that the sharing of good leadership knowledge across organisations encourages and facilitates a culture of continuous training and learning.
“In an increasingly competitive global economy, among the factors that will differentiate an excellent firm from one that is merely efficient is the quality of its leadership and workforce, and their ability to get things done in the best possible way,” the Minister stated.
He added that “a superior workforce, which is consistently being innovative and giving of its best to the organisation, is a greater source of competitive advantage”.
Senator Reid said consequent on this, the Ministry was encouraging a paradigm shift in education and training, by increasing dialogue with sector stakeholders on the matter.
“We have moved to align training programmes with industry needs (thereby) offering more opportunities for occupational studies. We believe that education must be practical and relevant to the needs of the society,” he stated.
As such, he said the new occupational degree programmes being offered through the HEART Trust/NTA, University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) and Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (JTEC) “are geared towards building the capacity and competencies of the existing and future workforce”.
The Minister pointed out that employers were, to a great extent, no longer recruiting persons possessing only academic qualifications, but wanted prospective employees who are trained and ready to hit the ground running.
Senator Reid reiterated concerns about the low number of tertiary-trained persons in the workforce, which he noted was only 15 per cent, pointing out that only another 18 per cent had technical qualification, with the remaining 67 per cent having no training and certification.
Against this background, he urged middle managers to ensure that their team members have the requisite training and certification to be able to contribute meaningfully to their entities’ output.
The two-day annual Middle Managers’ Conference, which commenced on Tuesday, ended yesterday (April 26).