The agriculture and construction sectors are two of Haiti’s main employment engines. Construction, in particular, is a dynamic source of existing and potential new jobs.
Vocational education is necessary to prepare job candidates to meet the needs of employers. In the Saint-Marc area, the reopening of EMAVA has the potential to fill a vacuum in technical education left when the school closed more than a decade ago. A market assessment of skills in demand in the agriculture and construction sectors will help the school administration select courses with maximum benefits for job seekers and those already working in the sectors.
Farmers express demand for generalized training related to both crops and livestock, and to the operation of mechanized equipment. According to ODVA and local employers, agribusiness concerns have a growing but still limited demand for small-engine mechanics and operators of tractors, motorized cultivators and other machinery. Many farmers could benefit from increased access to this machinery. Many don’t use it at all. Farmers have ongoing needs for training in water management, soils, planting techniques, and basic animal health care. The construction sector, with a vast network of employers, offers better prospects for job seekers.
Both sectors have demand, albeit limited, for mechanics and operators of small and heavy machinery. Training that provides general knowledge of these specialties, with instruction in equipment used in agriculture (cultivators and tractors) and construction (block-making machines and bulldozers), could position students to capitalize on job growth in both sectors.
Skilled and unskilled construction labourers would like to attend vocational schools – while continuing to work — to improve their skills and learn new ones. Farmers also desire training in basic agricultural techniques and livestock care and expect it to help them find more work.
There is a consensus among leaders of CORAM in Saint-Marc, and construction employers and workers that studying core construction jobs, such as masonry and carpentry, and specialities such as electrician, can give a job seeker the best chance of in finding a job due to high demand for these skills among a large network of construction employers.