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MoBay Expo 2015 to give job opportunities to students

Published:Wednesday | September 9, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas
Sonia Clarke Bowen

Western Bureau:

A key component of the upcoming Montego Bay Expo 2015 will be a job fair, which is aimed at presenting career options to tertiary-level and high-school students in western Jamaica, who might be interested in pursuing a career in the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.

"The Montego Freezone and the Business Processing Industry Association of Jamaica are coming on as a partner this year for the expo, and we are working on building a career hub at the expo this year," said president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), Gloria Henry, during a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum held to discuss the upcoming expo.

"... and that career hub is going to equip, empower and engage students from the schools."

"We want the next generation to be more creative ... to bridge the gap between going to school, learning a skill and developing their talent," noted Henry. "We are bringing out the students, but we are not just bringing them out to look at the exhibits, because we are running a job fair. We are saying to them, here is the potential for your employment in the BPO industry."

Mentorship programme

The MBCCI president added that in addition to the job

fair, students will have the

opportunity to avail themselves of a one-year mentorship

programme, which will give them practical experience with the business industry.

"The Chamber itself has engaged with the tertiary

institutions to offer them (students) a one-year free membership, mentorship and apprenticeship programme, so students who are in their final year in university can benefit from this programme, and it will allow them to see leadership and entrepreneurship, to hone and develop their skills, to see the potential for them establishing their own businesses ..., (and) to work with executives to see what it takes to start their own business," said Henry.

"We are bringing out the students from all the schools, the fifth-form students in all the high schools, and all the tertiary institutions, so we are talking hundreds of students," continued Henry. "We also have the Caribbean Maritime Institute on board; they are producing personnel here now, and HEART is also a big player in this, and they are also going to be part of this career hub."

Chairman of the Montego Bay Expo 2015 Sonia Clarke-Bowen said in order to have residents fully engage in the event, an aspect of the expo will be taken to Sam Sharpe Square in downtown Montego Bay, to make the event accessible to all citizens.

"For this year, to get the expo closer to the people, we will be taking the promotion to Sam Sharpe Square. We dubbed this as 'Takeover Wednesday,' where we will have our exhibitors and sponsors in Sam Sharpe Square, exhibiting, meeting the patrons, and getting them acquainted and sensitised on what will be happening at the expo," said Clarke-Bowen.