The Caribbean Netherlands Labour Market Education Council ROA CN hosted the first labour market platform on Saba last Friday.
The session brought together representatives of education, government, the utility companies, construction companies, the hospitality sector, the auto mechanics sector and the health care sector, who were asked to help identify the needs now for Saba’s labour market and what is needed for the future. This feedback will be drafted into a report which will be shared later.
As part of their curriculum, vocational students participate in several internships at certified ROA CN trained companies. Attendees who represented some of these ROA CN certified companies were split into groups and asked to discuss amongst each other and later present to all what they think is going well with the internship programmes, what can be improved, what actions need to be taken and what they are proud of.
Several key representatives were invited to give an opening address at the start of the session. Saba Comprehensive School Vocational Department Leader Madelyn Johnson said the school had applied for six additional vocational programmes: Motor Vehicle Engine Systems, Business Administration, Electrical Installations, Seaman Operations, Cosmetology and Bartending. “Saba Comprehensive School is the only secondary school on the island and we shape the students’ minds. So, identifying the future job possibilities is very important for us to know what we need to focus on,” she said.
OCW Policy Advisor Mirella Thijm said that for the Ministry of Education it is important to know from the labour force what are their needs, in order to develop policies that cater to Saba’s development and to adequately allocate the necessary funding to support these policies. “I am happy with the turnout at this first labour market platform for Saba. We need people here who have the right skills, mindset and knowledge,” she said.
Labour Market Manager at ROA CN Judette Frederiks pointed out that 40% of the population do not have the start qualifications for the labour market. Therefore, she said this study is important in helping to make a better link between the educational organisations and the labour market.
Head of the HRM Department at public entity Saba Brenda Tjipjes noted that currently the public entity has 17 vacancies and she expects more. She said these vacancies are on various levels and in targeted career fields, such as supporting departments with communications and developing policies. The vacancies are advertised on- and off-island.
The Daily Herald.