Education, Local news, News

Alternative career choices for students

Published 4November 2023


Buckie Got It, St Kitts Nevis News Source


Basseterre: St. Kitts, Friday, November 03, 2023:​ The education system must present students
with the opportunities to explore the realm of non-traditional careers, a point made clear during
the Finding Your Niche Discussion, moderated by Mr. Stephen Smith, Manager, Blue Torch
Productions held Thursday November 02, 2023, at the studio of the Education Media Unit.

Dr. Kertney Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of the St. Kitts and Nevis Technical and
Vocational Education Training (TVET) Secretariat, revealed that the role of the education
system in career generation is shifting to expose students to non-traditional career options.

“We do have some initiatives going on in the Ministry of Education. I am leading the TVET
sector where we are going to be offering certification that leads to National Vocational
Qualifications and Caribbean Vocational Qualifications. These are going to be for skills that are
in demand and are based on the Labour Market demand within St. Kitts and Nevis as well as
across the Caribbean. We are talking about certification which leads into areas such as
photovoltaic which is solar systems. The Education system is changing to allow these things to
happen in our schools,” he said.

Noting the numerous types of jobs that are available to students, Dr. Thompson remarked “There
are a lot of jobs available in what we call the Green Economy; we are talking about the solar
system. We also have jobs in the Blue Economy which is the water. The Orange Economy is the
entertainment sector.”

Dr. Thompson pointed out that jobs in the Agricultural sector are still pivotal to economic
growth and development. “We must look at doing agriculture differently. There are trailer
concepts of doing agriculture within a trailer. These are jobs that are still in demand. And with
St. Kitts and Neis already signed on to the 25% by 2025 Initiative, for food security we do need
to produce more.”

Agreeing with the position that more needs to be done to promote alternative career choices for
students, Ms. Tracy Wattley, Counselor and Principal of the Cayon High School, offered
suggestions on how the promotion of alternative career choices can be fostered.

“You now have a workforce in terms of teachers in the education system, who you know must
reframe their thinking as to what is important because there are still some teachers who would
view certain subjects as being the important subject. How we [teachers] do testing and how we
teach must also change. Teachers will need to be reskilled and reschooled in terms of how they
present the information.” She continued, “The Ministry of Education or the stakeholders on a
whole, should be aware that these careers call for money, so the investment needs to be there.
You can’t tell a teacher we will start doing this, but then don’t give them the resources that are

Both speakers agreed that exposing students to non-traditional career choices is imperative to the
economic sustainability of our twin island Federation as they are the ones who will be driving
our nation’s future economic development.

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