Education Minister Calls for Promotion of Non-Traditional Careers

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, says society should embrace and promote non-traditional careers that are offering huge incomes for young people, while also expanding the economy.

Addressing the launch of National Careers Week at JA Biz Town, in Kingston, today (January 12), the Minister said that a radical shift is needed from the perception that only careers in medicine, law and such professions can offer persons reasonable salaries.

“There are hosts of other disciplines that are equally wonderful, and which unfortunately, we glance at, because of a mindset that needs to change,” the Minister told the gathering, noting that careers in graphic arts and Information Technology (IT) are delivering incomes on par with what some lawyers earn.

Rev. Thwaites argued that what is urgently needed for young people to lean towards the careers where they can obtain jobs with little hassle is openness of mind. “I recommend the Junior Achievement movement as the hub of career choices for young people,” he said.

Lauding the work of the group which has created a number of primary school programmes to teach grades 1-6 students the basic concept of business, economics, and the relevance of education in the workplace, the Minister said young people must be educated to fit in the world or work.

“No longer can we just educate generally, we have to ensure that all the fundamentals are in place. We must point our young people towards areas that they are likely to be employed in, and be productive,” he said.

National Careers Week is being observed from February 13-19, and is organized through a partnership among the Ministry of Education, HEART Trust/NTA, and Junior Achievement Jamaica.

During the Week, 792 primary schools and 164 secondary schools across the island will be engaged through a series of events, and practical work experiences. Its aim is to ensure that children and adults reflect, plan, and take actions toward improving their career goals.

By Garfield L. Angus

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