September Lunch: Training for Development
On 28 September the British Chamber of Commerce hosted an Executive Lunch around the local labour market and the upcoming technical institutes project. Historically, Panama’s local labour offering has not been to the standards that multinational companies are seeking. This has led to many of these companies hiring qualified workers from abroad, something which has garnered much resentment from the local population.
To address this problem, the Government of Panama has begun the initiative of establishing a Technical Institute, modeled after the ones in Singapore, which will teach vocational skills to students. It is hoped that with this project, Panama will have a much more qualified technical labour force to address the demand by foreign companies.
Our keynote speakers were Samantha Whay-Jenkins, project consultant for the Technical Institutes. She gave an overview of the current state of the labour market, the challenges faced by the country, and the project that she worked on.
We also heard from Maria Lourdes Peralta, the Coordinator for this project. She gave details on the context of the Technical Institutes, the curriculum, and what the institute hopes to achieve in the future.