Year eleven students at John Gray High School are finding answers to that age-old question: what do you want to be when you grow up?
Thursday (18 February), students mingled with dozens of prospective employers to find out more about what career opportunities exist when the time comes for them to enter the workforce…
“There’s certainly an energy and a buzz amongst the students themselves and it’s very palpable and you can feel it,” said Education Minister Tara Rivers, who told Cayman 27 this year’s John Gray career fair’s new format better puts students face to face with potential employers. “There’s certainly more employers here this year, and that’s a great sign, that means the community is certainly supporting these efforts to get our young people exposed to the world of work outside the schools.”
Year eleven student Shantell Johnson is interested in a career as a dental hygenist, so she was keen to talk to anyone in the medical field, but she told Cayman 27 she’s in no hurry to enter the workforce just yet.
“To be honest, I’m not ready to leave high school yet, because we leave here at 16 and we graduate at 17 and so I believe that we need more time and we need more experience like for our work,” said Ms. Johnson.
“They’ve been made aware that their future is about to happen and I think they’re quite interested in finding out what’s out there for them,” said acting principal Jane Kelly. She told Cayman 27 the students are acutely aware of unemployment and other uncertanites that await them out in the job market.
“I think they should be concerned and I think they should realize the realities of the global situation that now, unless you have qualifications that are your currency, to go out in the world of work, then yes, you may well have difficulty getting not just getting a job, but getting a job that gives you satisfaction that gives you a good living, standard of living,” said Ms. Kelly.
“I believe that once you put your mind to it and you have the education and you find the time, you can get anything you want in the world,” said Ms. Johnson, who said she and many of her year eleven classmates choose to look at the future with a sense of optimism.
“They’re just starting, but hopefully events like his and other programmes will make them realize that they can be very employable, they just have to appreciate what it takes,” said Ms. Kelly.
Thursday’s career day event was the culmination of a week of mock interviews and other exercises that are geared to help students know what it takes to one day land that dream job.