Our students are not ready for work - Crump
Davon Crump, the president and chief executive officer of the Montego Bay based business process outsourcing (BPO) outfit, Global Outsourcing Solutions, says over 50 per cent of high school graduates do not have the skills necessary to succeed in the workforce, including mastery of English.
Addressing the recent St James High School's inaugural Grade 11 Empowerment Seminar at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel in Montego Bay, Crump said that the current generation of school-leavers are not equipped to face the demands of the working world.
"At the high school level, over 50 per cent of all new graduates are inadequately prepared in the most important skills necessary to be successful on the job, such as oral and written communication, professionalism and work ethic; punctuality and attendance; and critical thinking and problem solving," said Crump. "As an employer, I've found that if an employee is not great at these four areas, that employee will soon be out of a job."
Crump said that a survey conducted at the Montego Bay Freezone revealed that many new employees were especially unable to use standard English despite it being a requirement.
"When we conducted the survey, many new entrants were found deficient in writing English. There is no place for patois in the call centre industry, as our clients specifically ask that every candidate speak perfect English," said Crump. "'Yu see me,' 'wha di pree,' 'mi soon forward,' all of these are not language that you should be using."
Marline Stephenson-Dalley, the community awareness coordinator of the Tourism Product Development Company Limited, concurred and said that English is a global language.
"I always encourage students to become friendly with the English language, because that's the language of commerce, the language of the world. Our communication is very important because that is how we are going to relate to each other in the workplace," said Stephenson-Dalley.