The message came to them on Thursday January 24, from officials of the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, at the first Career Day fair held at the school. The Bank, which was represented by Mr David Fox, Loans Management Unit manager, and Mr Shavon Douglas, head of the Business Support Unit, was one of the organisations that participated at the exposition.
“The message was basically simple, and sought to highlight a number of the current economic and job conditions, bearing in mind that our youth population is growing at a rate that is much faster than our country can create employment opportunities,” explained Mr Douglas. Development Bank’s General Manager, Mr Lenworth Harris, was among persons who patronised the fair.
In his presentation, Mr Douglas encouraged students to begin to think about job creation that would create jobs for themselves and others, as they would need persons to work within their created enterprises. He advised them to think outside of the box, encouraging the students to not go down the line of what is already established in terms of businesses.
The bank officials informed the students, and their teachers, that the Development Bank was equipped to assist persons to develop any new ideas and also to fund the ensuing enterprises. They encouraged them to look critically at the current job market situation and to find opportunities, gaps, and niches where there are demands for products and or services that have not been created.
Cayon High School’s Principal, Mr Addison James, who thanked the Development Bank and other organisations that participated at the exposition, explained that the idea of holding the Career Day was to highlight the different careers that the students could aspire to.
“In the past we used to have a work experience just for the fifth formers, but this year we decided to go with a career fair to meet the needs of all students,” said Mr James. “We are hoping those students who are leaving school would be ready to go to colleges and into the world of work, would have an idea of the possibilities, and where they could go.”
The Principal observed that the Career Fair would have assisted the first and second formers to begin looking at their subject choices, to cater for the particular career choices. While saying that the fair was beneficial to the students, Mr James pointed out that they hope to make it a bi-annual event, every two years. “I think next year we would go back to the work experience again and the following year we will go for the career fair, and we hope it could be bigger and better,” said Mr James.
Ms Trisha Benjamin was one of the teachers who visited the Development Bank’s stand, accompanied by Fifth Form Social Studies class, with the aim of finding out what the bank could offer to the students and what was the bank’s contribution to the students at the career fair.
Asked if the students benefitted from the few minutes they spent at the Development Bank’s stand, Ms Benjamin said: “Oh definitely, because the information that Mr Fox and Mr Douglas gave, especially about the population in their age group that is presently at 40% and giving them a reality of availability of jobs and what is available in the Federation.”
Students and even teachers asked questions about student loans which are offered at the Development Bank and were informed that any persons wishing to pursue further academic, vocational or professional courses in the country or overseas could access loans of up to US$35,000 at an interest rate of 9% per annum on reducing balance.
“Mr Douglas said that you should think outside of the box, which surely stuck with me,” said Ms Benjamin. “We have too many of doctors and too many business area careers, so hopefully their presentation encouraged the students to think outside of the box and also don’t be limited, don’t let their friends limit them, their family members limit them to what they can do for their career area and for their studies.”