There is no job put down
No one owes you a job; it is up to you to create your own employment, as the future of the country depends on you.
That was the message from Small Business Association (SBA) president Dalton Medford to students today, during the association’s annual Enterprise In Action Youth Symposium at Hilton Barbados.
Speaking against the background of increasing unemployment and a rise in population levels globally, Medford told the room of close to 200 primary and secondary school students that traditional labour markets were shrinking and they should give considerable thought to creating their own enterprises.
“The ILO [International Labour Organization] estimates that 47 per cent of all unemployed persons globally are young women and men. Six hundred and sixty million young people will be either working or looking for work in 2015, and that will include you,” he said.
“I read this so you will understand the importance of this symposium on your life. The society and the economy as we know it has changed and you must understand that the days of Government being the largest employer are changing; the big companies in Barbados are downsizing; and the use of ICTs are replacing labour as we know it.
“While the above may seem scary, all is not lost. We in Barbados have begun a discussion on entrepreneurship, especially among young people, and today we will involve you in this discussion,” added Medford.
Acknowledging that the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and the University of the West Indies (UWI) had already taken steps to assist in the growth of entrepreneurship on the island, Medford told the students they were “fortunate” and shoud take advantage of the opportunities.
“The future is ripe with opportunities for those of you wishing to become entrepreneurs. And I urge you to consider this as you owe it to yourself and your country, as no one owes you a job despite how educated you may or may not be. No one owes you a job,” said Medford.
Offering tips to the potential entrepreneurs on starting a business, Medford said it was critical to focus, find what they loved and stick to it, adding that being an entrepreneur was not a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. profession. He said it was also important they paid close attention to maintaining good health.
“The future depends on you. Your country is depending on you. You decide if you are a part of the class that creates employment or you can wait for someone to do it for you. It is your choice,” advised Medford.