Private Sector Entities Show Interest in Employing Teachers Following Job Fair

Photo: JIS Photographer Job seekers at the Ministry of Education job fair for unemployed teachers (left), seek information from one of the facilitators, at the Ministry’s National Heroes Circle location in Kingston, on August 14. The fair targeted persons who recently completed a teacher-training programme in any of the island’s tertiary institutions and are experiencing difficulties finding a job. The Ministry’s decision to stage the job fair follows the statement by the Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites that the Government is unable to absorb all the graduates of teacher-training institutions for the new school year, except for teachers trained in Mathematics, the Sciences, Language Arts, Special Education and Early Childhood Education.

Story Highlights

  • 300 resumes have been forwarded to eight private sector entities
  • An increasing number of private sector entities are taking up the slack to employ teachers
  • Teachers are being sought to fill a wide variety of jobs

The Ministry of Education is reporting that following the hosting of a teachers’ job fair in August, some 300 resumes have been forwarded to eight private sector entities, which have expressed an interest in employing persons with teacher-training qualifications.

This is in addition to about 1,000 teachers who registered with, or were screened by potential employers, many of whom were from the private sector.

Participating organisations at the two-day fair included: the University College of the Caribbean (UCC), GoGSAT Limited, Sagicor Life Jamaica Limited, National Commercial Bank (NCB), Sandals Group, Kirk Distributors, Choices Career and Educational Services, Registrar General’s Department (RGD), Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

Speaking with JIS News, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Elaine Foster Allen, said an increasing number of private sector entities are taking up the slack to employ teachers that the public education system is unable to absorb within the current budgetary constraints.

“Teachers are being sought to fill not only teaching vacancies, but a wide variety of jobs for which their skills set is suitable – financial advisors, sales/marketing representatives, hospitality industry workers, and military service,” she noted.

Assistant Vice President for Sales and Distribution at Sagicor Life Jamaica, Mr. Merrick Plummer, who attended the job fair in search of financial advisors, said the training and experience of the teacher make him or her perform well in the field.

The job of a financial advisor entails the sale and servicing of financial security products and Mr. Plummer believes teachers are potentially good at this job, because “the profession of teaching causes the individual to be well organized, a great listener, goal oriented and able to explain the (insurance) policies and provisions.”

Resort chain, Sandals, also made 35 teachers happy during the job fair by interviewing and offering them jobs.

“I came to the fair on the first day and I did not get an interview. I am so glad I returned on the second day,” an elated Physical Education (PE) teacher told JIS News.

Sandals had expressed a preference for teachers with training in Human Ecology, who are suitable for employment in the areas of housekeeping and food services, but the resort chain also has a place for PE teachers in its recreational area.

At the end of the job fair, Sandals requested additional resumes of teachers trained in Early Childhood Education for likely deployment to its family-oriented resort properties.

According to Janelle deFreitas, Counsellor at Choices Career and Education Services, “understanding personality strengths and weaknesses puts persons at an advantage to finding out what they are good at and the natural skills they possess.”

Ms. DeFreitas, who was one of several presenters at the job fair, counsels teachers to begin by taking a quiet moment with a pen and paper to identify their strengths and weaknesses. “Once they have identified their skills, teachers should market themselves  by networking,” she says.

The Ministry of Education is also developing a data bank of unemployed teachers, which it will make available to potential employers.

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