Labor market analysis to improve the capacity of Sint Maarten’s social protection system

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Edith Meijer (fifth left) and Melanie de Ruiter (right) of Panteia during the training session with the interviewers.

 

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – The Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labor (VSA) in collaboration with the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) is conducting a comprehensive labor market analysis in Sint Maarten. Employers are encouraged to fully participate.

The analysis, a priority for the Ministry of VSA, forms part of the critical work being undertaken under the second component of the Sint Maarten Trust Fund’s Income Support and Training Program (EISTP). The first component of EISTP, which has been completed, focused on providing immediate support and training for workers who had lost their jobs in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

This in-depth labor market analysis is a first for the country and will provide much needed data to support the development of an Integrated Social Registry System (ISRS). The ISRS aims to improve the capacity of Sint Maarten’s social protection system to better coordinate social programs and respond to disasters and other shocks.

The analysis will include gathering data by means of interviews and surveys, analyzing the information, and making recommendations to improve the social protection systems for vulnerable workers. It will also focus on predicting labor demand/supply over the next five (5) years. The data gathered during this comprehensive labor market analysis will feed into the policy design and decisions at the Ministries of VSA, Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT), and Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (ECYS).

An important element of the analysis is a survey that will be completed by employers. The survey’s main objective is to collect data that will aid in the analysis of employers’ present and future labor demands and skill requirements. Compared to other studies conducted recently, which were focused mainly on the economy, this survey focuses on vacancies and skills.

Experienced interviewers will survey a random selection of businesses with more than three (3) employees in all sectors. They will ask questions about relevant aspects of the labor market, such as the existence of sufficient labor supply, methods of recruitment, skills in demand, seasonality, future vacancies, and the need for foreign labor.

The survey will be anonymous and will only focus on labor and labor market issues. All business owners who are approached are kindly requested to fully cooperate with the interviewers by answering the questions to the best of their ability and by providing accurate data.

The labor market analysis, including the survey, is being executed by the Dutch research institute Panteia, in collaboration with local partner Sint Maarten Consulting Group (SMCG). Recently a special training session was organized for ten (10) Sint Maarten-based interviewers. The interviewers will visit businesses to conduct the survey.

The Sint Maarten Trust Fund is financed by the Government of the Netherlands, managed by the World Bank, and implemented by the NRPB on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten.