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Friday, March 31, 2006 

Caribbean governments and businesses blamed for brain drain

Friday, March 31, 2006

by Dawne Bennett
Caribbean Net News Barbados Correspondent
Email: dawne@caribbeannetnews.com

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Caribbean governments and businesses are being told they're partly to blame for their university graduates leaving their homelands and moving to other countries to work.

Head of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic research at the UWI Mona Campus, Jamaica, Professor Neville Duncan says politicians and the business sector have failed to properly plan to absorb and utilize these people in productive employment.

Speaking on day two of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute for Social and Economic Research (SALISES) 7th Annual conference being held in Barbados, he says, while most University of the West Indies graduates genuinely try to find meaningful and relevant employment in their countries, they have been blocked from doing this.

"Blocked through the existence of family firms that do not see an advantage and benefit in hiring highly qualified graduates of the university participating in their operations," he said.
"Also the idea that you can pay them less for quality work, and all of these things create frustration and generate a desire to get out of this environment and try somewhere else, which is usually overseas," he said.

On day one of the conference, Dean of the Faculty of the Social Sciences at the UWI Cave Hill Campus, Dr. George Belle revealed that more Masters programmes are coming on stream at that campus from September.

He says while there has been major emphasis on increasing undergraduate admissions at the Barbados campus, the next thrust will be on postgraduate programmes and research.
Dr. Belle say intense work is ongoing to have everything in place by the start of the next academic year, but he did not indicate what these programmes would be.

The SALISES conference is being held under the theme 'Social Policy Challenges in the Post-Independence Era' and it's expected that by the end of the conference, there should be a better perspective on social policy development in the Caribbean.

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