Shortage Of Trained Workers Causes Influx of Foreigners in Panama
Wednesday, December 14 2011 @ 02:52 pm EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
31% of the 628 Panamanian companies surveyed said they plan to increase their workforce next year, 7% said they plan decreases, and 61% said they are not planning to make any changes, and the remaining 1% said they don't know. "Today there is a major challenge for companies to find staff, and this is particularly true for specialists. The foreign population is growing, people who come to occupy those positions that cannot be filled with local talent," he said. Quesada added that the current rate by the year 2025 about 25% of the population of Panama will be foreigners. For example, in his experience, there are more customers who are asking for foreign employees, however there are limitations in local law. The trends for increases in hiring are located in Panama City with +29% and the province of Colon at +28%.
For his part, Francisco de Ycaza, the President of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE), said there is a need to train staff in Panama, but said they are working on that. The businessman said the importation of professionals should not be seen as a threat, since the measure would help to increase the country's internal preparation and there will be a greater fluidity of knowledge.
Meanwhile, Juan Planells, the Director of the Foundation for Economic and Social Development of Panama (FUDESPA), explained that the lack of trained personnel is obviously a problem for the country's sustained growth. He noted it would be ideal for companies to acquire their human resources here, since the aim should be that the riches are for Panamanians. He acknowledged the issue of education is a long-term problem, it is necessary to develop technical courses that train specialists, but also to promote values such as leadership, responsibility and attitude. He added these elements are the keys to success for the workers. (Panama America)
Editor's Comment: And the situation I've been predicting for at least three years now is becoming reality. Panama's economy is creating more jobs than there are Panamanians trained to fill them. The government of Panama will eventually have to loosen the laws that restrict employment by foreigners. I would suggest special one year contracts - package deals that include both immigration and work permits on an as needed basis, renewable as long as the economy continues to kick ass. There are millions of people in the United States, for example, who are currently unemployed who would be more than happy to come down here to work. The problem (for them) is that the wage scales are not up to US standards. There's much more of a flow of foreign labor from places like Colombia and other Latin American countries whose economies are not kicking ass as in Panama.