Today’s employer is looking to hire well-rounded individuals who are “workplace ready” by possessing skill sets that complement their academic achievements.
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Dr. Romel Springer, stressed this recently, while speaking at Alexandra School’s annual Speech Day and Prize-Giving ceremony.
Dr. Springer told students, faculty and parents that the face of education had changed globally and it did not look the same as when they were going to school.
He pointed out that if the Ministry was to realize its mandate “to assist in the development of responsible citizens who are disciplined, industrious, creative and confident and who can function effectively in a modern society”, then it was crucial that greater attention be paid to engaging students in active learning in an effort to make them workplace ready.
“The challenge, however, is that many of these jobs for which you are being prepared have not even been created as yet, hence the need for you to be adaptable and to be competent in a skill set which complements academic achievement. Employers require creative and problem-solving skills and an ability to adapt to change. School is therefore challenged to engage students in an atmosphere which will facilitate an easy transition to the workplace.
“To this end, the introduction of the Caribbean Vocational Certificate (CVQ) alongside the more familiar CXC certification offers students an opportunity to work in a collaborative environment and to exhibit their creativity in a practical way. The CVQ programme allows for the practical application of academic principles and offers a realistic insight into workplace practices and expectations,” he asserted.
The Parliamentary Secretary reinforced the point that the ability to be a team player was a “highly desirable” trait in today’s workplace, and the project-based learning in the CVQ programme allowed for this skill to develop. He said he was “heartened” to see that the Alexandra School had been steadily increasing its subject offerings for certification at the CVQ level.
He also directed his comments to parents saying that schools could not produce outstanding citizens without the support of home and family.
“I challenge you today to be an integral part of the solution to the problems facing our young people. Be bold and assume your role as parents. Be bold to lend support for that which is good and to be intolerant of that which is bad.
“Set the right example so that when your child follows in your footsteps you can proudly declare imitation to be the best form of flattery. You have a responsibility to lend support if education is to be used as the vehicle to take your child, your family and this country forward,” he urged.