Department of Labour officials admitted yesterday that they are having challenges finding jobs for poor performing graduates.
Ministry of Education officials recently released the results of the country’s national exams. The results were poor.
According to officials, there are about 40,000 people unemployed in The Bahamas.
But that’s not to say there aren’t any good jobs available.
In fact, Labour Exchange worker Bonnie Johnson said the top 10 positions the department is trying to fill can pay up to $200,000 per annum.
Those jobs include client relations manager, bankers, engineers, insurance manager, senior psychiatrists, produce consultants, radiation therapists and executive directors.
Entry level jobs that are up for grabs include welding, contractors, plumbers, sale agents and teachers.
But the problem, according to Ms. Johnson, is that while the department sees many Bahamians coming forward, many don’t have a high school diploma.
“In most instances it is difficult to find someone that is qualified,” she said.
“So we would encourage those who are coming in and those who are leaving college so that they perhaps complete courses, for instance nurses and human resources.”
Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald recently admitted that his ministry was not satisfied that recent high school graduates are equipped or prepared for the 21st century workplace.
His comments came as officials revealed that the average grade for the BGCSE examination for English Language was a ‘D’ and an ‘E+’ for Mathematics.
Ms. Johnson said although students seem to take these exams for granted they are pivotal.
“These exams are very important and employers usually look for the entry level for the BGCSEs and the BJCs for the entry level positions that we have. It is very, very, important. Sometimes employers will not even interview if persons have not completed high school,” she said.
Minister Fitzgerald said nearly 50 per cent of high school students graduating with a leaving certificate would most likely take jobs within the hotel industry.
To make this possible, the Ministry of Education will focus on establishing a career path to ensure vocational training.
“[They would learn] skills that would prepare them to go into the workforce where they may not be interested in what we consider the pure academic fields or the areas of their interests where we need skilled labour,” Minister Fitzgerald explained.
“In a lot of areas now we are importing labour to build our country and so we want to shift away from this direction.”