Find Construction and Engineering expertise in Jamaica
Between 2003 and 2008 construction accounted for, on average, 8% of Jamaica’s GDP, and in 2008 represented $41.8 billion in constant dollars. The sector mainly consists of non-residential construction (schools, hotels, offices), residential construction, construction of infrastructure, and electrical and water installations. The Government of Jamaica is the largest single client of the industry, and much of the involvement is through ministries and state agencies such as the Ministry of Works and the Urban Development Corporation, the National Housing Trust and the Port Authority of Jamaica.
The construction sector has many links with other domestic economy sectors including housing, manufacturing, tourism, transport, financial and business services, communication and distribution. Consequently any economic activity in these sectors contributes to growth in the construction sector through their construction cost component. The sector also benefits from cyclical trends, for example stimulus provided by the need to rebuild after the impact of natural disasters which tend to stunt economic growth in other sectors.
The World Bank Ease of Doing Business Index ranks Jamaica in a strong 50th place out of 185 countries worldwide with regard to dealing with construction permits. Jamaica ranks two places above Barbados but below other Caribbean countries such as Antigua and Barbuda in 24th place.
The majority of construction firms are owned locally, although major construction projects, usually involving tourism or infrastructure, are often run by large foreign construction companies.
The Incorporated Master Builders Association of Jamaica (IMAJ) was established in 1952 as the voice of the construction industry and organises qualified construction contractors and industry related companies. Their main aims are to prevent ad-hoc bargaining between union and builders and to provide builders and construction workers with professional recognition. The IMAJ strives to improve the construction industry by educating companies to employ the finest skills, advocating building the best quality projects and promoting use of the latest technology. The Jamaica Institute of Architects (JIA) is another major industry body in the field and the Architects Registration Board is a statutory body under the Ministry of Transport and Works. Only those registered with the Board are permitted to call themselves an architect in Jamaica.
There are about 400 engineers in Jamaica and entry into the profession is regulated by the Professional Engineers Registration Board which administers the Professional Engineers Registration Act (PERA). The Board is a good point of contact for a complete list of registered firms that operate in Jamaica.
Due to a lack of civil engineering education courses in Jamaica, Jamaican students often study in Trinidad and Tobago whose oil and gas industry retains many of its Jamaican graduates. Recruitment to Trinidad and Tobago and further afield internationally results in a shortage of civil engineers in Jamaica.
The Jamaican Institute of Engineers (JIE) was formed in 1996 to promote and encourage the advancement of the engineering profession, and to facilitate the communication of ideas and information among its members and the public.