Young adults converged at the John Dial Community Centre in Bacolet/Mt St George, Tobago, seeking to explore future career opportunities as the Youth Energised for Success (YES) programme held its first Annual Career Fair on Thursday.
Representatives from different sectors were on hand to provide information on career options to the young people. These included health, business, the environment, institutions, agro-processing, tourism and hospitality, arts and craft and skills training. Some enterprising persons even walked with copies of their resumes and filled out application forms.
The YES programme established in 2012 operates within the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development (DFED) of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA. The Career Fair served as a platform for offering a unique hands-on experience for youths to gain relevant information from various departments within the THA and private entities on the skills and requirements needed for employment. The initiative was also aimed at supporting persons who are entrepreneurial-minded, thereby encouraging self-employment and small-business development. In addition to the hosting of career fairs the programme offers workshops in areas of Life Skills, Resume Writing and Interview Skills, Professional Development, Youth Entrepreneurship and Summer Internships.
Secretary of Finance and Enterprise Development, Assemblyman Joel Jack, who formally opened the Career Fair, pointed out that the initiative “seeks to create a nurturing environment and harness the untapped potential of our young people as we create and support enriching community-based activities for youth development and employment.”
Jack announced that the John Dial career would be the first in a series targeting young persons from different communities which would challenge them to capitalise on opportunities to them to shape a bright and successful future.
“The Division is committed to empowering and assisting communities and stimulating community-based entrepreneurship. Community wealth-creation and generation are important elements of the Tobago business model and we will continue to enable the transfer of wealth locally, and within families,” Jack told his audience.
He exhorted the young people: “As the island’s future leaders, I challenge you to create your own success. Use the tools you have and fearlessly pursue even that which is unfamiliar. Be a leader, an innovator, a trailblazer. You have all the capabilities necessary to contribute meaningfully to Tobago’s development and I expect that you all will.”
For Nkocy Fletcher, 19, student of Calder Hall, the career fair was very interesting and eye-opening. “I loved the variety of stakeholders who were at the fair because it didn’t only focus on those who are academically-inclined. I was particularly interested in the NESC booth and I actually applied to do a course in facilities maintenance. I do not want to limit myself to the academic sphere but to equip myself with trade skills. It was amazing to see the wide range of career options available right here in Tobago. It is up to us, the young people, to maximise the opportunities that are presented to us,” said a confident Fletcher.
The other Career Fairs will be held at Louis D’Or/Betsy’s Hope, Lowlands, Mason Hall and Parlatuvier.