Give the youth choices - Lalor
One of the country's leading businessmen has called for a diversification in the career options available to young people, which he believes is absolutely necessary for the country to achieve sustainable economic growth.
"Gone are the days, I think, where every student in Jamaica needs to be a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant. We need to be a bit more creative in our thinking. We need to make sure the children don't only think about professions, but also think about being entrepreneurs," said Paul Lalor, president of the Insurance Company of the West Indies as he addressed a press briefing held yesterday, ahead of the National Careers Week and Skills Competition, at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information also used the occasion to sign a memorandum of understanding with Recycling Partners of Jamaica for a pilot project in Clarendon and Manchester schools under which 50 environmental wardens will be deployed in primary schools to promote healthy environmental practices.
"Businesses will drive this economy, and you need leaders and businesses. You need creative thinkers and you need men with the courage to risk their capital, to make sure that they can create jobs, while along the way, possibly creating a little wealth for themselves," declared Lalor, who was attending in his capacity as chairman of Junior Achievement Jamaica.
He explained that it was in keeping with its mandate to promote financial literacy, workplace readiness, and entrepreneurship that Junior Achievement Jamaica had, over the past three years, put in a strong showing at the National Careers' Week and Skills Competition, which will run from Sunday, February 17, to Friday, February 23. This years' theme is 'Building the Future by Guiding the Present'.
Meanwhile, Dr Janet Dyer, interim managing director of HEART Trust/NTA, gave the assurance that the training agency was on track in terms of its training and certification programmes, which are informed by the latest market data and trends to ensure that its graduates remain relevant to the growing needs of the job market.
"The insistence on relevant labour market data has taken on added significance over the last decade in a rapidly evolving technological global village, where the only constant is change. And so we recognise the pivotal role that youths of this and future generations will have to play if Jamaica is to become more competitive on the global scale," Dyer said.