You have choices, jobless youth told

Against a backdrop of what he described as a high number of uncertified school-leavers and few employment opportunities, St James North Member of Parliament Edmund Hinkson has advised constituency youngsters to seek vocational training.

Hinkson passed on this advice yesterday to a group of 25 young under-employed, or unemployed youngsters, gathered in the Weston Community Centre, St James, for an introduction session to the training opportunities available at the Barbados Vocational Training Board.

He told them of the difficulties in reaching a comfortable standard of living without qualifications gained at a recognized institution.

St James North MP Edmund Hinkson addressing young constituents.
St James North MP Edmund Hinkson addressing young constituents.

“That is the reality of Barbados  . . . it doesn’t have to be an academic certificate, though we would like you to have English, Maths and at least two more CXCs.

“But we live in a real world, a practical world. Not everyone is going to have the academic ability to get that.

“A lot of young people leave school without school-leaving certification.

“We know that it is almost 50 per cent of children who leave secondary school at age 16, 17 without any CXCs, or if they do, they only have one or two,” the Opposition Barbados Labour Party shadow minister for education said.

However, he told the gathering, “[It] isn’t the end of the world. You can learn a skill – tiling, plumbing, electrical, mechanics. You could be a seamstress, a repairer of fridges, Bobcat operator. And you can lead a better quality life, make more money to support your family, the children that some of you all have already and most of you all will have at some time.”

This is the second year that the Clarkson Foundation, a non-profit organisation run by Hinkson, has put on the event.

Hinkson told the young people that despite under-performing at school, the BVTB skills training courses, “would still make you be able to live a good life, decent life, and of course a law-abiding life.

However, he warned that, “common sense and judgment is a major part of life, not only academic ability”.

9 Responses to You have choices, jobless youth told

  1. Veroniva Boyce
    Veroniva Boyce July 16, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    “It doesn’t have to be an academic certificate, though we would like you to have English, Maths and at least two more CXCs.” English, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics taken at GCSE or CXC are Academic (Passed Grade A -C). Almost 50 per cent of children who leave secondary school at age 16, 17 without any CXCs, is shocking! The students should leave school with at least 4 CXCs. No student this day and age in Barbados should be allowed to leave school without qualifications. The positive attitude towards the 11plus should also be the same when the student goes to secondary school because that’s where the hard work begins.The students that are not academic can be trained to do a skill with an assessment when all modules are completed a certificate can be awarded. Wunna got the technology to revise and books to read. The parents need to support the child and keep up to date with the school with their child’s progress. Wunna need to remove the hindrance mobile phones, I bet all of them will get straight A* for face book, snap chat, WhatsApp, face time & Skype.
    As for jobs, wunna got to prepare the youth with qualifications for the work place by introducing six week traineeship which should involve, CV, how to complete an application form, open a bank account, mock interviews, team building and what the employer expects from an employee. I swear there are a lot of seniors that want the young people to FAIL before they start, we got our education so to hell with you. Can one imagine every good teacher having that attitude? Barbados would be in turmoil. All educated retirees that got spare time on their hands offer help to those who struggle with their school work give something back to the community.

    • Nico HL Beckles
      Nico HL Beckles July 16, 2016 at 6:20 pm

      There are programs that prepare young school leavers for the world of work even if they have no academic qualifications, Pinelands Creative Workshop has a yearly program called CALM which is available to all

  2. Alex Alleyne July 16, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    “Silly season” is in the air so you will hear such things.
    You know the deal…..

  3. Nico HL Beckles
    Nico HL Beckles July 16, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    It all comes down to the person themselves, there have been entire classes at some secondary schools that the teachers decided to not enter for any single CXC but that didn’t stop the ones in those classes that wanted to get through from doing so. There are some who will try every avenue they can find to improve themselves and there are some that you can hand chances to on silver platters and they wouldn’t care

  4. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay July 16, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    i agree,but put in good grazing and tie short is reality 17yrs son going to do arc welding,i am a tiler and wanted to teach him tiling on de job,but i cant even find tiling work unless you know or family to de builder/owner or de mason.

  5. Green Giant July 17, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Young people need to have service clubs, social or sports clubs on their curriculum. They need to have communication and team skills. Academic, technical and vocational skills with English, Maths and a foreign language as basics. Then we will obviously have those who develop early, and those who develop late. We can quite easily have suitable programs for those two groups.

    This is not rocket science, but like I always say in this forum. Politicians will use these issues for political mileage, but honestly none of the parties are any different as their policies are designed for an elite class and are not rounded.

    We need a new political ideology and not a change of government. When we address education we need also to ask about ” Edutect” millions of our tax dollars have been spent on this still incomplete project. Contrary to ‘ Biggy Irie’ it’s not money well spent.

    Many of us still have fresh memories and we still seek answers. Not only current answers but several past answers as well.

  6. Coralita July 17, 2016 at 11:49 am

    My daughter was in the system under the BLP misrule and the DLP insanity. She graduated, is working and doing well because I invested in her. The government didn’t bring her in this world, I did and it was my responsibility as her parent to do right by her and that I did.

    Irrespective of the holes in the eduction system, if parents were to do right by their children more would do better. Some parents don’t even look at their children’s books, don’t go to PTA nor form level meetings, don’t have a clue what their children are doing at school and then want a scholar. How the heck does that work unless the child is a born genius!!!

    The social services must be there especially for the less fortunate but parents need to step up and do right by their children.

  7. Sunshine Sunny Shine July 17, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    How many jobs do you have in Barbados for Barbados school leavers? Many university graduates are finding it hard to get a decent job in Barbados far less a secondary school leaver. If you ask a child to look to entrepreneurial possibilities when people are hardly interested in support local talent how is he or she to survive on a bunch of airless talks. Create opportunities for school leavers to have a taste of the world of work. Not a whole lot of nuff talk when there nuttin out there for them to do besides wait on the contact to get something.

  8. jrsmith July 18, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    First I must say most billionaires and high power businessmen are not academics.. Its alright to try and educate every young person in Barbados, but not getting advice on pursuing the right type of vocational skills is always the disaster. most of the developed world is at the crossroads where they economies is heavily based on the service sector some manufacturing and tourism..

    What ever we have in Barbados along with tourism is so non productive underdeveloped and badly managed, its hard to pin point or advise the young people where to go what to do. We would educate our people and export them…

    Five years from now what’s left of the domestic manufacturing industry world wide ,which is still using man power is expecting to shed 64% of the man power labour force. Full (Electronic automation ) would be the order of the day..


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