Barbados’ Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Elizabeth Thompson, is encouraging Barbadian students to aspire to work beyond these shores.
Speaking this morning at the donation of devices from Barbadians working at United Nations (BajUNs) in New York to the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Ambassador Thompson suggested that Barbadian students need to look beyond Barbados for employment. This she believes is necessary in order to assist the country in having a voice at the international level.
She stated: “Even though I see our nationals perform with excellence in the UN system and at the international level wherever I go, we do not really truly attempt to place our nationals in international organizations so that those international organizations can be more sensitive to issues relating to Barbados, as a small island developing state.
“If we train people and train them to a high level, we should be putting them out, not just in Barbados, but our marketplace needs to be the international space, that is where major decisions are made, that is where resources are determined for countries, that is where international policy is framed.”
Ambassador Thompson believes higher education, along with a foreign language, is key to having Barbadians receive employment in international organizations and non-governmental organizations, however, she stressed a first degree is not enough.
“If you’re serious about working at the international level, I want to say to our young people, a first degree is not going to do it. You have to have at least one masters, maybe two, because everybody with whom you work and sit at the table at the United Nations at a certain level have a PhD, some people have two.
“If you’re going to come with a first degree you can’t get hired because you aren’t going to be able to compete on the basis of training alone, even if you have first class honours.”
Ms. Thompson believes that through education and exploring employment beyond Barbados’ shores, Barbadians could position themselves internationally to repatriate benefits, and to ensure that this country’s brand is furnished in the world as people will associate Barbadians as persons of excellence, who have a great deal to offer.