Labour ministry introduces career-planning programme to Robert Lightbourne High
The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has taken its Career and Parenting Pilot Project to Robert Lightbourne High School in St Thomas in hopes of guiding students and their parents as they make career choices
The project will run for five years.
At the launch on December 7, students from grades seven to nine were advised on how to plan for a career and how to best match their personalities with the right job. They were also instructed on the use of the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System, which links people with local and overseas employers based on their skills and qualifications.
They learnt how to write resumes, prepare for interviews, and conduct job searches.
Permanent secretary in the Labour Ministry Colette Roberts Risden told the students that it is very important to choose a career that matches their personality.
“Dig deep; look at your personality and figure out what you want to do,” she advised.
Roberts-Risden noted that while many students choose careers in medicine and law, there are exciting and lucrative job opportunities in non-traditional fields such as business process outsourcing (BPO), energy, logistics, maritime, and website and game design.
The permanent secretary also encouraged the students to consider professions in agriculture, which is the economic mainstay of the parish.
“We must not look down on agriculture… agriculture is an important part of life,” she noted, citing horticulture and greenhouse production as viable specialisations.
Meanwhile, she urged parents and guardians to value their children and to take their education seriously.
“Never discourage them. Children learn at different paces, so encourage them. Tell them the positive. Love your children and work with them,” she said.
Interim principal of the school Paul Clare said the initiative between his school and the ministry will be of tremendous value to the students, noting that, for a number of years, they have struggled with making wise career choices.
“We’ve noticed that students who select vocational areas, after a year or even sometimes after a term in the respective vocational area, they no longer want to be there. When you probe them, you find that they chose the area because of their friends,” he said.
Robert Lightbourne High is the third school and the first rural institution to be exposed to the initiative.
Interventions are already being carried out at Kingston and Holy Trinity high schools in the Corporate Area.