Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship and National Human Resource Development: A Caribbean Perspective

Academic journal article International Journal of Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship and National Human Resource Development: A Caribbean Perspective

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

In the Caribbean, social entrepreneurship needs to be promoted to encourage human resource development at the national level. There is an urgent need to promote social entrepreneurial activities in order to solve some of the complex problems facing the Caribbean (poverty, unemployment, crime and other serious issues). According to the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development (CCYD) (2010), levels of youth unemployment in the Caribbean are among the highest in the world. Many young people in the region can confirm what some experts conclude, namely that the system of education does not prepare them adequately for the regional and global labor market (CCYD, 2010). This problem may be one of the reasons that young men throughout the reason lack the motivation to perform at a high level in school.

Also, according to the CCYD report, there are three critical issues that the regional system of education has to contend with. One is the relatively high attrition rates, due to poverty, unemployment, adolescent pregnancy and male lack of motivation, notwithstanding relatively high rates of expenditure on education (CCYD, 2010). The expressed concerns of Caribbean youth aged 15 to 29 reflect these issues. They are: (i) Restricted access due to poverty, an inadequate number and enrolment capacity of schools and training institutions, particularly at the post-secondary level; and few scholarships and spaces at post-secondary institutions; (ii) Low relevance of education curriculum options and delivery systems are unresponsive to their talents, skills, interests and needs; boring, limited and academic focused; ultra-traditional; unequally distributed; certificates and diplomas do not guarantee them a job or job security; and under-investment in rural schools; (iii) Insecurity--indiscipline and gang activities in schools organized around drug sales, guns, machetes, knives, politics, theft, etc. (CCYD, 2010). These issues play a major role in the level of disenchantment some young people feel throughout the region, and it may be a reason that crime, violence, and other social ills are on the rise.

Based on the findings of the CCYD report, it is imperative that Caribbean nations utilize social entrepreneurship as a means of promoting national human resource development with the goal of reducing crime, creating jobs and promoting vocational and entrepreneurial education throughout the region.

NATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT

Countries throughout the Caribbean should consider implementing a national human resource development policy in order to address some of the major issues facing the region. Human resources are critical for national and local stability. Countries that do not have sustainable development and that have high unemployment rates leading to high levels of poverty are countries that reflect a lack of stability. Developing human resources is one approach to alleviating these conditions (Mclean, 2004). If the cycles of welfare, poverty, violence, unemployment, illiteracy, and socially undesirable employment are to be broken, integrated and coordinated mechanisms for people to develop need to be provided. Beyond economics, Human Resource Development (HRD) has the potential to improve individuals' quality of work life (Mclean, 2004). Also, the impact of AIDS/HIV on the workforce, especially in developing countries, is potentially damaging to the present and future workforce as well as to the economy of the countries. A response is required to diminish the incidence and impact of AIDS/HIV. A national HRD policy is one approach that is being used to do this (Mclean, 2004).

According to Mclean (2004), national human resource development goes beyond employment and preparation for employment issues to include health, culture, safety, community, and a host of other considerations that have not typically been perceived as manpower planning or human capital investment. …

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