Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 10, 2016 (SKNIS): Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, the Honourable Shawn Richards, encouraged students to use the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) Career Fair and Open Day to maximize their abilities to explore employment and study opportunities. The fair which was held on Thursday, March 10, was held under the theme: “Exploring Employment and Study Opportunities”.
Minister Richards described the event as an exciting day in the life of CFBC and shared his delight in seeing so many students participating in such a momentous occasion.
“I am happy to see all of the students complete with resumes, transcripts and portfolios,” said the deputy prime minister. “I extend a warm welcome to all the students especially those from the sister island of Nevis. From the display presented today, I know that the partners will not be disappointed.”
Deputy Prime Minister Richards reflected on the theme and offered sound advice to the students.
“Once ago, we heard talk of finding a job, but as your theme suggests, it is time for exploring job offerings and job opportunities. Students, as you explore the employment and study opportunities, be mindful of the fact that the workplace of today and tomorrow is not necessarily a physical place,” he said. “The workplace of today and tomorrow is a virtual matrix of collaborators across the world with varied projects, requiring different skill sets at different times. The worker of today and tomorrow will need to be agile, financially savvy and entrepreneurial in their approach to work.”
He further noted that present and future workers will also need to know how to market themselves in the world and be equipped with a number of 21st Century skills. Such skills include resilience; self-awareness; social and diversity awareness; empathy; communication adaptability; collaboration; digital literacy; entrepreneurial mindset; and analysis and solution mindsets.
“As the news tells us, the global economy is in the midst of a massive transformational shift,” said the education minister, while noting that in order to succeed in the 21st Century, there is a demand for workers to be intrinsically motivated, curious, persistent and willing to take risk and willing to learn and create new knowledge on a continuous basis. “The 21st Century world of work demands that it will become necessary for you to find new opportunities or create your own jobs. The rapid and radical changes in the way we think about work and the workplace dictate that you will have to reinvent, reengineer or reimagine jobs of today.”
Minister Richards made reference to a recent survey from the United States, which revealed that by the end of this decade over a half of the workers will be self-employed, finding their clients and being found by clients via the cloud. He added that based on global work trends working virtually means that one would be competing with passionate, highly skilled and motivated people from around the world.
The education minister stated that the “ability to collaborate with others and share professional expertise online is turning the thinking about traditional employment on its head.”
He encouraged students to be careful when using social media and to guard their personal brand, as the manner in which they find work will change from answering an advertisement in the newspaper to being found online by companies such as LinkedIn and Twitter.
Around 25 exhibitors were present at the fair, as well as government officials, including Mrs. Ionie Liburd Willett, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education.