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Prepare students to fill existing vacancies in job market

Published:Wednesday | January 30, 2013
Damien King, co-executive director at the Caribbean Policy Research Institute.
Everton Hannam, president of the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica.
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Co-executive director at the Caribbean Policy Research Institute, Damien King, says there is a need for guidance counsellors offering career advice to students to take a second look at the choices they are presenting.

Addressing a Gleaner Editors' Forum at the newspaper's North Street, central Kingston, offices on Monday, King said as it stands, career guidance is largely focused on students' abilities with no regard for the needs in the job market.

Pointing out that projections indicate that jobs in marine science will soon be in demand, King said: "It is important for us, in looking at career counselling, to now take a keen look at what is on the impending landscape."

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Elaine Foster-Allen, also agreed and pointed out that career guidance "ought to be carefully crafted".

PARENTS HAVE KEY ROLE TP PLAY

In the meantime, president of the National Parent-Teacher Association of Jamaica, Everton Hannam, said while children might not always settle at a decision based on their parents' guidance, parents need to begin to see themselves as key players in the process.

Hannam said also that the society needs "to start looking at engaging new careers and moving away from what we have been choosing since lifelong history".

"We have to start engaging at an early level. How do we engage parents in assisting in making a particular career choice? Let's look at technical vocation. How many parents can you convince to get their child or children in technical vocation?" he questioned.

nedburn.thaffe@gleanerjm.com