NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (July 18, 2023) – Young persons on Nevis seeking to enter the world of work are being urged to acquire the necessary skills and adopt the right mindset in order to enhance employability.
Speaking at a recent engagement with young persons aged 15 to 21, Hon. Spencer Brand, Minister of Labour in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), highlighted the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in a world that is becoming more and more skills service oriented.
“While we do not have a large heavy manufacturing sector technical skills services are in high, high demand. This I believe will be a key area for shaping our future,” he said, pointing out that one of the key benefits of TVET is the wide range of career opportunities it can lead to.
The Minister was at the time addressing the opening ceremony of the Department of Labour Career Fair and Training Expo 2023, held at the Malcolm Guishard Recreational Park on July 10 and 11. The event offered participants an opportunity to interact with representatives from TVET-related businesses while also benefitting from professional training sessions.
Chief Labour Officer Ms. Juliet O’loughlin told the participants that developing one’s skill is important as it allows for improvement of one’s attributes and qualities vital to effective workplace performance.
“Effective workplace knowledge and skills reduces inefficiencies and will help to eliminate the problems faced by the employers and help the employees become more confident at performing their tasks and meeting the employer’s expectations.”
Deputy Premier Hon. Eric Evelyn chaired the ceremony and admonished the school-leavers that equally as important as acquiring a skill is ensuring they have the right attitude.
“People fail to realize that persons who are involved in the skills- the plumbers, the electricians, the painters, the contractors- they are making a lot more money than those of us dressed up in our tie and jacket. The persons who are involved in the skills are making the money, so I do not want you to underestimate how important these skills are. But you must have the correct attitude and you must be accredited sometimes as well.
“For those of you not working as yet I continue to sound the warning that when you go into the workplace you have to have a different attitude. I want you to be some game-changers for young persons on the island of Nevis. Please get the attitude right when you enter the world of work.”
He encouraged them to be disciplined and conscientious employees, and cautioned them about being distracted by cellphones while on the job.
“Do not allow the cellphone to control you. You spend six or eight hours on the job and you’re on the phone for five, and if you’re doing that you cannot be productive, you cannot be producing quality work. I am very passionate about young people and so I want to see the young people do better because you have the ability, you have the opportunities that we didn’t have,” he said.
The Department of Labour is currently engaged and has held discussions with the relevant personnel within the Ministry of Education to provide educational awareness sessions at all secondary schools starting as early as the third forms. This is intended to better prepare students to enter the world of work or select the best areas of study for their career of choice.