As economic anxieties about the future continue to mount for many, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard yesterday challenged students at The College of The Bahamas to not only think outside the box, but to consider bypassing traditional career choices for lucrative and specialized degrees well-suited for a more modern Bahamas.
His remarks were made at the Culinary Hospitality Management Institute (C.H.M.I.) Toastmasters’ “Meet the Candidates” event Thursday.
The event provided college students to learn more about the political candidates running in the upcoming General Elections.
Joining Mr. Maynard on the panel were Minister of State for the Environment Phenton Neymour, the Independent Member of Parliament for Bamboo Town, Branville McCartney and the Progressive Liberal Party’s Fort Charlotte candidate, Dr Andre Rollins.
Students and members of the media peppered the panelists with questions for about an hour. The line of questions ranged from the diversification of the economy, to the sale of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company to job creation for young persons.
According to the last national survey conducted, the unemployment rate stood at 14 percent for New Providence and 18 percent for Grand Bahama.
With high unemployment levels and a tough job market making it difficult for young graduates to get a foot in the door, Mr. Maynard said preparation is key.
“I have a niece who went to university and took up International Business. [She] is finding it very difficult after graduation to find a job because of her qualifications,” he shared. “She is qualified, but how does that connect to what is actually happening on the ground?”
Pointing to the development of the new, state-of-the-art, $30-million Thomas A Robinson National Stadium Mr. Maynard predicted that certain degrees in sports would become a “hot commodity” in the job market of the future.
“In my ministry for example we are now focusing very heavily on the development of the sports complex in an attempt to attract world class events,” he said. “A key job in that scenario is sports management. Sports tourism is a key part of it as well. That is a niche market all within itself. There are some emerging markets in terms of sports tourism, sports management, sports medicine.”
The job market has always been mercurial at best with some sectors firing while others are hiring. However, Mr. Maynard said it’s up to students to ensure that they are a “valuable asset” in any job market.
Precision Media Agency