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  • Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, is urging students to incorporate technical and vocational education and training as critical steps in their personal development and growth.
  • Minister Kellier also recommended that administrators expand the school’s vocational training curriculum.
  • Statistics further revealed that education and training influenced the students’ preparedness for work.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, is urging students to incorporate technical and vocational education and training as critical steps in their personal development and growth.

Minister Kellier’s message to the opening ceremony at the Cambridge High School expo and Career Day in South St. James, on Thursday, April 10, was read by school board Chairman, Rev. Leroy Sterling.

Minister Kellier also recommended that administrators expand the school’s vocational training curriculum, to allow students to gain certification, and make the transition to the world of work easier.

Commenting on his week-long campaign to disseminate the findings of the School-To-Work Transition Survey, Minister Kellier informed that, “we have found that only 35.5 per cent of Jamaican youths have successfully transited from school to work – finding decent and productive employment”.

He said another 41 per cent are still in transition, and the remaining 23.5 per cent have not yet started that process.

He noted that the statistics further revealed that education and training influenced the students’ preparedness for work, as well as the type and quality of employment opportunities they secured.

“For example students with higher level training (such as vocational certification and university/tertiary education) transited more successfully than those without preparation,” Minister Kellier stated.

He informed that approximately 65 per cent of the 2,584 young people interviewed were not enrolled in school or a training programme. Mr. Kellier further noted that more than half of them only had secondary education, and 18.6 per cent of those included vocational training.

While endorsing the theme of the Expo and Career Day ‘Cambridge High School Meeting the 2030 Vision : Showcasing Skills and Academic Excellence’, Minister Kellier lauded its compatibility with the Vision 2030 National Development Plan, which speaks to establishing an efficient and harmonious labour market, by securing a well trained, productive workforce, fit for global competitiveness.

The South St. James Member of Parliament committed to making the report available to the educators at Cambridge High, and urged students to make greater use of the Ministry’s Labour Market Information System (LMIS).

The LMIS is an Internet-based database, which matches job-seekers with employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, Mayor of Montego Bay, His Worship, Councillor Glendon Harris told the students that the future of Jamaica is in their hands, and that they should grasp all opportunities, and take responsibility for their personal development.

Principal, Mavis Hamilton said that the exposition was the inaugural expo had as its objectives: the re-branding of the institution as the school of choice for vocational skills and academic excellence; informing the public of its accomplishments; and celebrating the students’ work.