NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 13, 2022) – Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister of Labour in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), has endorsed the Nevis Department of Labour’s Career Fair 2022 as an important initiative aimed at preparing youths on the island to enter the work force and also to become entrepreneurs.
The four-day event, presently underway at the Malcolm Guishard Recreational Park, is being held under the theme “Skills Development and Opportunities for a Brighter Future”.
“From a government point of view [skills training] is critically important for us, because if the civil servants were to have all of the necessary skills, I am certain that we would have a much happier general public when we serve them,” Mr. Brand said during the opening ceremony on Monday, July 11, 2022.
He further highlighted that skills-based training is more important than ever in today’s work place as employers are seeking candidates for employment with soft skills such as creativity, adaptability, problem-solving, and critical thinking, as opposed to formal academic qualifications.
Minister Brand opined that Nevis needs to concern itself with creating a skilled work force by assisting young persons to attain the right skills for the careers they intend to pursue. He commended the Department of Labour for hosting such a timely event.
“Our aim is to ensure that our students are exposed to the necessary skills development,” he said.
Ms. Juliet O’loughlin, Acting Chief Labour Officer, said over the course of July 11 to 14, 41 fourth and fifth form students from the various high schools on Nevis will be exposed to presentations from representatives from a wide cross section of industries, in an effort to help guide the students to a career path in which they may have an interest.
“The fair seeks to highlight skills development geared towards employment opportunities and entrepreneurship. The department chose to at this time target the students of all fourth and fifth forms on the island in our efforts to better prepare our students for the world of work with the need to emphasize the area of skills development towards achieving your goals in securing future jobs…
“So students, that is why we have created an opportunity for you through Career Fair 2022 to meet face-to-face with and to hear from skilled entrepreneurs, business representatives and other related work forces who hopefully would inspire you to work towards your future goals,” she said.
In his remarks, Dr. Ernie Stapleton, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, informed that the students would be exposed to the hospitality and tourism sector, the construction sector, and technical fields such as electrical and plumbing. They will also be trained in small business development, personal development, and beauty/cosmetology, and the Labour sector. Topics also include general behaviours and policies at the work place and related Labour laws.
He said the skills learned and information garnered will help make the young participants more employable and help them create their own small businesses in order to succeed in today’s competitive society.
Also present at the ceremony was Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Youth in the NIA; Mr. Denzil Stanley, Principal Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Labour; Mr. John Hanley, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism; and Ms. Lucinda Francis and Ms. Althea Parris, Head and Supervisor of the Employment Services Unit in the Department of Labour on St. Kitts, respectively.