Global competitiveness is expected to increase the unprecedented unemployment issues in The Bahamas if students continue to ignore beneficial career choices that challenge their skills and cultivate teamwork attitudes.
The Ministry of Tourism conducted a Bahamian Resident Survey in 2007 which revealed that Bahamian workers are perceived to project a lack of work ethics, limited career option knowledge, lack of career planning skills, and unawareness of career levels and wage category.
On October 1, the National Career Awareness Committee held a Guidance Counsellors Workshop and officially opened its 5th annual October celebration of lifelong job readiness for Bahamian youth. Under the theme “Conquering Challenges…Cultivating Careers”, the committee will showcase a month of planned career related activities organised by the Guidance Counselling Unit from the Special Services Section of the Department of Education.
“Conquering challenges other than careers, you can appreciate that you will have many instances where persons who see the bulk of some of the challenges that our young people face,” said Hulan Hanna, Acting Deputy Commissioner of Police.
The Ministry of Education, Science & Technology paved the way for the Committee’s premier debut in October 2008. The NCAM vision has always been to create a culture that fosters courteous, proficient, and productive employees; motivating persons to train and retrain in order to meet the needs of an evolving, technical, competitive and global workforce. NCAM’s mission has been to provide students across The Bahamas with an opportunity to receive necessary information that will reflect the type of attitude and exposure to the skills required for work and life in a democratic society, guided by Christian values.
NCAM was formed to respond to the major concern of tourism and government employers wanting to prepare Bahamian students to embrace social development and career exposure without fear or hesitation. This year’s opening was held at the Paul Farquharson Conference Centre in the Police compound on East Street where remarks were made by Ms. Antoinette Thompson, Education DPS; Mr. Lionel Sands, Education Director; Hulan Hanna, ACP of RBPF (Acting); Mr. Frank Comito, spokesperson for the Bahamas Hotel Association; Mr. Dudley, Bahamas Maritime Authority’s Board Director; and Mrs. Zoe Powell, Senior Education Officer.
This year’s sponsorship included The Royal Bahamas Police Force, The Ministry of Education, The Bahamas Hotel Association, and the Ministry of Tourism. The partners recognised were the Bahamas Maritime Authority, Bahamas Information Services, the Lyford Cay Foundation, the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture, the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute, the Bahamas Independent Secondary Schools Association, the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Ltd., Ministry of Health, Bahamas Financial Services Board, Bahamas Business Solutions Ltd., KPMG, the Ministry of Labour & Social Development, Royal Bahamas Defence Force, the Ministry of the Environment, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, Public Hospitals Authority, the College of The Bahamas, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Agriculture & Marine Resources.
The workshop will be followed by a career trail blazer of information with radio and television appearances and a blitz of speakers to address students in schools. There will be a job preparedness workshop for 12th grade students throughout the month, as well as field trips and career site inspections for 5th and 8th graders. A video conference will be held on October 10 for all the schools in the family islands, such as Andros, Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma, Grand Bahama, and to talk to each other and to students in Nassau about National Career Awareness Month.
By Gena Gibbs
Bahamas Information Services