Labour Ministry Launches Career Project at Robert Lightbourne High

Photo: Melroy Sterling Permanent Secretary in the Labour and Social Security Ministry, Colette Roberts-Risden (left), interacts with students of the Robert Lightbourne High School in St. Thomas, at the launch of the Ministry’s Career and Parenting Pilot Project at the school on December 7.

Story Highlights

  • The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has taken its Career and Parenting Pilot Project to the Robert Lightbourne High School in St. Thomas.
  • Over the next five years, the students and their parents will benefit from assistance in making wise career choices.
  • Permanent Secretary in the Labour Ministry, Colette Roberts-Risden, told the students that it is very important to choose a career that matches their personality.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has taken its Career and Parenting Pilot Project to the Robert Lightbourne High School in St. Thomas.

Over the next five years, the students and their parents will benefit from assistance in making wise career choices.

At the launch of the project on December 7, students from grades seven to nine were advised on how to plan for a career and how to best match their personalities with the right job.

Through a dramatic presentation, they were also instructed on the use of the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System (LMIS), which links persons with local and overseas employers based on their skills and qualifications.

They learnt how to write résumés, prepare for interviews, and conduct job searches.

Permanent Secretary in the Labour Ministry, Colette Roberts-Risden, told the students that it is very important to choose a career that matches their personality.

“Dig deep, look at your personality and figure out what you want to do,” she advised.

Mrs. Roberts-Risden noted that while most students choose careers in medicine and law, there are exciting and lucrative job opportunities in non-traditional fields such as business process outsourcing (BPO), energy, logistics, maritime and website and game design.

The Permanent Secretary also encouraged the students to consider a profession in agriculture, which is the economic mainstay of the parish.

“We must not look down on agriculture… agriculture is an important part of life,” she noted, citing horticulture and greenhouse production as viable areas.

Meanwhile, she urged parents and guardians to take their children’s education seriously and to value them.

“Never discourage them. Children learn at different paces, so encourage them. Tell them the positive. Love your children and work with them,” she said.

Interim Principal of the school, Paul Clare, said the initiative between his school and the Ministry will be of tremendous value to the students.

The principal noted that for a number of years, students have struggled with making wise career choices.

“We’ve noticed that students who select vocational areas, after a year or even sometimes after a term in the respective vocational area, they no longer want to be there. When you probe them, you find that they chose the area because of their friends,” he said.

Mr. Clare expressed the hope that through the Career and Parenting Pilot Project, the students will appreciate the need to venture into careers that are best suited for them.

Robert Lightbourne High is the third school and the first rural institution to benefit from the initiative.

Interventions are already being carried out at Kingston and Holy Trinity high schools in the Corporate Area.

JIS Social