Students are encouraged to focus on “non-traditional” professions
“Breaking all Barriers, aiming for higher heights and educating our nation for a better tomorrow,” was the theme of the Human Resource Development Division of the Ministry of Education’s Annual Exposition held at the National Stadium on 28 November 2013.
The yearly event, targeted at secondary school students from public and private schools, featured various speakers from academic, financial and governmental institutions to inspire, advise and guide the students toward the best career path for their futures.
Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Honourable Anthony Boatswain, spoke on the current levels of unemployment in the country and the areas where students may find gainful employment in the future.
“Unfortunately we have a disconnect, historically, between what the educational system has been putting out and what the world of work has been demanding. We have to correct this disconnect because at present we have unemployment as high as 40% in Grenada and for a lot of our young people, those who have graduated from secondary and tertiary institutions, the rate is as high as 50%,” Minister Boatswain said.
“We have a fundamental question to answer: where are our secondary school graduates? Many of them are unemployed, at home, and this is not good for a country where we spend over 100 million dollars per year on education.”
The Education Minister said that the next fifteen years would see job creation in sectors that are IT driven and skills based. He encouraged the students to position themselves so that they can take advantage of those new jobs.
Kevin Andall, representative from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, informed the students about the skills training opportunities that are available to them; such as the New Imani Programme which offers life skills training, apprenticeship, direct skill training and small business preparation courses.
He also encouraged the students to embrace areas that are innovative and think beyond the typical academic professions of lawyers and doctors because those fields are saturated, but the skill-based professions offer many opportunities.
“We have one of the most thriving Marine Industries in the Caribbean; the yachting industry. However, a lot of young people are not going into yachting. A varnisher, somebody who varnishes the yachts, can make up to $4000-5000 dollars a month. A diesel mechanic, who is responsible for taking care of the engines of the yachts, can make up to $6000-7000 dollars a month. Young people are not gravitating towards this,” Mr. Andall said.