Students have been urged to seize any opportunity to learn and train for careers in the future as the days of ???getting that Government job and remaining at it for 40 years are over???.

Acting Minister of Education, Senator Harcourt Husbands, made this appeal today as he addressed the Barbados Coalition of Services Industries??? (BCSI) seminar entitled: Business & Career Opportunities Available in The Arts Career, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

The event was staged as part of National Services Week 2015 and targeted fourth and fifth form students at the secondary level.

Senator Husbands told the students: ???Throughout your working life you will need opportunities like this as employment changes, and, as employment opportunities arise, you will have to make yourselves available for training and retraining, getting information and networking with people in your area and in other areas.??? He added that it would build their character and teach them how to live with others.

Stating that changes were taking place in the world of work even with persons accessing work in Government institutions, the Acting Education Minister said technology was both destroying and creating jobs, every single day, at a tremendous rate. Students heard they were being prepared for current jobs, as well as those ???not yet created???, which they must be prepared to fight for.

According to him, in order to seize the new employment opportunities, they should be good communicators; have impeccable language skills; be able to deliver a speech or presentation, and have access to at least one foreign language such as Spanish or Mandarin. ???Your interpersonal skills must be good and you have to be able to get along with people,??? he added, noting that this was why CXC courses stressed so much on group work.

While pointing out that youth unemployment was very high across the world, at about 50 percent in some places, he urged students to also consider taking Caribbean Vocational Qualifications, which provided training that allowed for free movement of people and labour across CARICOM countries.

Executive Director of the BCSI, Lisa Cummins, in giving the rationale for the seminar, noted that education was a priority and part of the services sector. She acknowledged that although Barbados??? education system was traditionally set up to focus heavily on traditional sectors, as time evolved, a number of new disciplines and areas have emerged, from which young people could benefit.

???The BCSI is playing its part by ensuring that it provides schools and young people the opportunity to see this happen not purely from an academic perspective but in its most practical context???I mean quite simply that when you see a man on a stage and he is singing and performing – what are some of the things that go into making that happen; what are some of the careers that you can possibly pursue that can be part of that process; how can we enable you through education and tertiary level opportunities to explore some of those study options,??? Ms. Cummins stated.

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