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Train for jobs market

Sean St Clair Fields

Train for jobs market

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A COLLEAGUE felt that I would find a paid advertisement entitled “Big Babies” particularly interesting so he left a copy on my desk. True to his prediction, I found Shekinah Medical Centre Inc.’s hypothetical comparison between a 250-pound, six-foot baby and what appears to be trending in Barbados to be hilariously brilliant.

These days some of our young adults appear to be excessively dependent on their parents, on other guardians or even the state, and while I will agree that superfluous dependency is unlikely to promote effective growth among our young adults, the circumstances that have led to this perceived dependency is worthy of consideration.

Take, for example, that these inexperienced young adults are reportedly having tremendous difficulty finding a job or opening a business when they leave school with little or no certification. It also appears that those who have graduated from the Barbados Community College, Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic and the University of the West Indies are not finding it much easier in landing a job or becoming entrepreneurs.

Given the foregoing and the perceived unavailability of jobs, can we reasonably expect these young adults to take charge of their affairs, chart their future and become less dependent on others?

When I assess the latest employment figures, it looks more to me that the real issue is with the underemployed and voluntarily unemployed categories. I believe that our young adults are expecting to find opportunities and jobs that are commensurate with their qualifications, but the reality is that they are either overqualified or not in possession of the required certification for the jobs that are available.

We need to collectively raise our voices again for the urgent re-engineering of our educational system to one that is more capable of providing the commensurate training programmes that can support our industries and meet the demands of our business sectors.

Doing so will allow us to improve our deliverables, increase our efficiency and produce products and services that can compete on a global scale.

Sean St Clair Fields