Belize is navigating a difficult period on our socio-political and economic landscape however ; the labour force remains the backbone of our economy regardless of the dazzling high unemployment rate.
Every day, countless thousands of Belizeans get up early and go towork, more so fromthe municipalities and countryside propelling into the old and new capital contributingto the formal employment.The workforcemake-upis displayedin trades and otherprofessions andservicesincluding manufacturing, in physical andintellectual capacities, theformal and informal. There are countless otherjobs that our men and women performeach dayto earn a living, not to mention the household chores, which are not always remunerated but are a fundamental pillar to family’s structure.
The problem withthe lack of employment invariably appears in the measurements of public opinion as one of the main demands of citizensgoing into an electionyear for more than two decades. This has been increasing, especially due to the increase of our youth population. It is estimated that 5,000 formal job opportunities are generated every year, but the gap growswith growing unemployment, which, swell the ranks of informal commerce, migration and the unemployed.
The figures in a certain way turn this drama into a statistical abstraction, but the consequences of this lack of work spaces hit the human development, the economic growth and the productive capacity of the country, in a kind of vicious circle that has been aggravated by the reduction of direct foreign investments in the country due to the confrontative decisions bythe Government, the lack of updated laws regarding competition and political uncertainty.
The rhythm of the country's exports has stagnatedover the last 10 years, both in relation to products and services, which makes it necessary to rediscover resources, generate a new national image and draw up a national intersectoral alliance, including government and the private sector, to find agreements and strategies for the next decades.
On the other hand, it is not only a purely economic and technocratic issue. The education of the country must be transformed to be a generator of productive people, with competitive and timely skills, such as the aptitude for mathematical calculation, reading comprehension, critical judgment and mastery of at least a second language. It is unfortunate that many educational institutions, public and private, become a factory for the unemployed because they graduate from diversification to people who do not have the intellectual tools necessary to face industrial demands or to insert themselves with innovative undertakings. This is not a generalization, because there are also schools that cultivate intelligence, business sense and the desire for growth. We need a financial ecosystem that provides resources for the emergence of new companies in technical, creative, computer, craft, agricultural and manufacturing sectors. Proof of this potential is the triumph of various migrant initiatives in the United States and other countries.
Have just recently celebratedInternational LaborDay, it is appropriate to honorthe tenacious struggle, perseverance and strength with which thousandsof our Belizean people feed the hope of a better future. No politician can really offer that he will create jobs out of nothing or based on unilateral measures, so a good selection criterion is to distinguish those plans that encourage investment, promote entrepreneurship, improve training and leave aside clientelism, which damage has done to society as a whole.