Panama Short on Skilled Labor

The Panamanian economy continues to grow, demanding more and more professional and technical staff, which the local job market fails to satisfy.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Companies are failing to fill their vacancies, as they lack candidates with the required skills and experience. This situation, far from being resolved, is getting worse, as more transnational companies open office in the country, increasing the demand for skilled workers.

The country’s education system is not up to the challenge, according to OECD’s program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which ranks Panama 62nd out of 65 participating countries.

Everyday companies post adverts looking for skilled professionals with many failing to hire them due to lack of aspirants, argued the Industrial Association of Panama (SIP), while Luis Fernando González, Manpower regional director, recommended “reviewing Panamanian Law to broaden the participation of professionals from other countries”.

More on this topic

Too Many Jobs, Not Enough Workers

April 2018

It is estimated that between 2015 and 2020, Panama will need to hire around 68,000 employees with technical specialties, and the logistics sector will be the leader in the demand.

According to a labor market study carried out by the Ministry of Labor and Labor Development (Mitradel), estimates for from demand companies for technical personnel is high, with the logistics, industry, tourism, agriculture and construction sectors being those that most need staff with these capabilities. 

Overcoming the Shortage of Qualified Employees

May 2012

There are plenty of applicants for the posts, but there are few who are really qualified to meet the demands of each job.

A study entitled 'Lack of Talent 2011' by the firm Manpower Group shows that 30% of companies in Costa Rica say they have trouble finding certain types of staff such as technicians, salesmen and secretaries with the required skills.

Lack of Skilled Labor in El Salvador

September 2011

Current business needs do not match up with the supply of professionals nationwide.

Lack of public policies encouraging diversification of careers, and the limited interest of students in non-traditional careers are two of the reasons for the low supply of personnel in the country on offer to companies that come looking for laborers.

Surviving Skills Shortages

July 2011

The shortage of skilled labor has led Panamanian companies to get creative when recruiting staff.

Companies with a need for skilled labor have reached agreements with other companies to share staff, provided incentives to employees to recommend others for vacant positions and have even retain staffed who have officially retired.

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