Tertiary and secondary educational institutions are being encouraged to form stronger linkages with businesses to assist students in preparing for their chosen careers.
That advice came today from chief executive officer of Massy United Insurance Howard Hall, as he addressed a media launch of the company’s inaugural Manager for a Day programme.
The initiative, which is open to secondary and tertiary level students between the ages of 17 and 21, allowed one student to spend today with the CEO, and will see nine others spending next Monday with the management team of the insurance company.
Hall said it was an opportunity to inspire the students and allow them to see the demands of daily business operations, while focusing on transferring knowledge and practical experience to the students.
“We all know that the youth are our future. Can you imagine what would happen if we fail them?” he said.
“Schools and businesses must therefore work together to create a meaningful and long-lasting partnership which nurtures students’ skills and equip them with the tools they need to make more informed career choices. These partnerships would help to define the future workforce and the country’s competitiveness.”
Hall said as businesses and processes continued to evolve, it was important that leaders “have the foresight and the adaptability for what really matters”.
He urged the students to take advantage of the opportunity the programme would create for them.
Cherisse Francis, a final year law student at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, has been selected to serve as CEO for the day.
She said she saw it as a unique avenue “to learn and grow” and set herself apart from her peers.
“Too often my generation is not given the opportunity to interact with professionals . . . The truth is, we do not put ourselves in the position to do so. Being chosen for this opportunity means that I am one step closer to my eventual destination,” she said.
The Ministry of Education is supporting the programme.
Education officer in the ministry with responsibility for secondary schools, Montege Deane-Bowen, lauded the company for the initiative, saying that it came at an opportune time.
“This initiative is very timely since it coincides with the latest developments in our secondary and tertiary institutions, most notably the skills for the future initiative,” she said.
Deane-Bowen pledged the ministry’s commitment to partnering in initiatives that help students acquire the relevant skills and knowledge needed by businesses.