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Education system has failed the youths – caller

According to the caller to Umoja, the education system has failed the youths since many leave schools ill-equipped to capitalise on opportunities in the yachting industry. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- A caller to the radio programme Umoja, which was aired Thursday January 26, 2012, was of the opinion that the education system was to blame for the lack of employment of Virgin Islanders especially in the marine industry.

According to the caller, it is interesting that every year persons are leaving school and can’t find work especially in the yachting industry where VIslanders are a minority.

“Why aren’t we having people graduating with captain licenses ... Why are these kids coming out and they don’t even have a clue, they don’t know what to do, they come to these businesses with a certificate and they don’t even have an idea of what the boating business is about.”

The caller further opined that the problem is a failure on the educational system.

“I just wonder if this country knows what it is doing. It blows my mind that every year we have students graduating and you don’t have a captain and you don’t have a shipwright, you don’t have people that understand the boating industry or how it works. And I think that we in the BVI got to realise that education is the key so that when these kids come out they will be ready to face the work area and the jobs that are presented in this particular country.”

According to co-host Natalio Wheatley, a friend of his showed him the salaries that boat captains receive and noted that they are very well paid. He then lamented that locals have not been benefitting despite there being a lot of youths in East End who love the water, own boats and are able to navigate anywhere in VI waters.

Too many Filipinos in the VI

Meanwhile, Cromwell Smith highlighted that someone told him that the hotel businesses and marinas in Virgin Gorda are bringing in people to work and that locals can’t get a job there.

He went on to say that “You are hearing now from local people that there is too much Filipinos in. I am sure that you have heard it...Where are the Filipinos coming from?....We have to realise first of all how are the Filipinos getting in the BVI. Who is hiring them?”

On another note, Smith said the elected representatives must see that their responsibility is to maintain “this harmony, this equilibrium and relationship in the community”.

“And again I have to say that the government needs to step in and make sure that there is a decent wage for all workers and that nationals of the country are enjoying a good quality of life or else they are going to have to unionise to defend themselves and that will increase the antagonism and prolong that antagonism with the possibility that would eventually destroy all the gains that we have made in the BVI.”

17 Responses to “Education system has failed the youths – caller ”

  • WTF (27/01/2012, 07:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The new marinas and restaurants on Virgin Gorda are screaming out for staff and very few virgin islanders are applying and the ones that are applying are getting employed. FACT! I know I live on Virgin Gorda and work in one of these new places and we are seriously stuck for staff the only virgin islander who applied got the job turned up for a few days out of 10 as they phoned in sick the rest of the time then didn't bother coming back at all.
  • wait a min (27/01/2012, 09:22) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    at least them filopones does be working better than others
  • Crank Shaft (27/01/2012, 09:23) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This talk about Filipinos is just pure jealousy! If our damn education system wasn't so backward then the graduates would be equipped to take on the jobs out here. You think a business trying to please clients/customers and make a profit can just hire people because they're from here? That's it? What about productivity? Quality? I have had experience with Filipinos and they're very disciplined and educated people. Some may argue they might make less in salary but so what? The fact is they're qualified to do the job! The guys that are A/C technicians, send them home and which locals can replace them? The ones who are specialist mechanics, send them home, which locals will replace them? The once that are professional auditors and accountants, send them home, which locals will replace them? The ones that are domestic in nature, cleaning, bartending etc. Send them home, which local will replace them? The only way we can start putting limits on businesses is when we demonstrate that we are educating our people to be able to take up these jobs. Until that happens you cannot force a business to hire a local. Kedrick said himself! For every 10 specialist jobs offered in BVI we have 4 qualified BVIslanders. What should they do then? Ya'll people are really hard to please. There's no reason why we are surrounded by islands/water and have the biggest charter fleet in the world, Moorings, yet no yachting or sailing program in school. SHAMEFUL! You cant learn how to fix A/C in High School, can't learn plumbing and the other technical courses are very basic and general in nature. Where these people come from they do 6yrs in High School and 5yrs in college, they are disciplined and educated. When we step up to the plate then we can dictate, until then, humble your damn self and learn something so you can contribute to your Territory and make a decent living. A business cannot just hire and pay a local just for so!@
  • social studies (27/01/2012, 10:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The government needs to assess the importants and relevance of a technical school to the BVI economy. A technical college is absolutely needed to help the territory cater for the technical jobs that are out there for those interested virgin islanders. However the attitudes of virgin islanders has to change towards those jobs that they consider beneath them. Lastly people in the virgin islands seemed always inclined to assign blame to someone else except themselves. You cant be so blind that you not recognised that these "down island people" and fillipinos are not coming here on their own - IT IS VIRGIN ISLANDERS WHO ARE HIRING AND GIVING THEM WORK PERMITS TO WORK IN THE TERRITORY!! Cut the damn blame game out!!!!!!
  • slyb (27/01/2012, 10:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Can some one give a rough amount or how many Filipinos are here in our islands
  • Crank Shaft (27/01/2012, 10:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Cromwell and Sowande, along with other talk show hosts may mean well, I give them the benefit of the doubt. But for the last 5yrs they've been on the radio and TV shouting the same nonsense and nothing is getting better. How about inviting the actual employers on these shows and let's hear their side of it. Let's hear why they employ expats, let's hear how some locals behave in the work place, let's hear how many locals actually apply for jobs and if so, when hired, how many of them stay on the job. Let's hear about their performance. That's the only way we can get a reasonable dialogue going on this issue. Bitching and moaning about how many filipinios, UK residents, spanish etc. is just childish and stupid. There's a reason for it and it doesn't seem we're interested in the reason, we just want to complain. The BVI has 30,000 people and based on stats, there are probably what, 15,000 locals? Look at our financial services sector and hospitality sector. Combined, they probably staff over 20,000 people. If we have say 5,000 qualified locals and 20,000 jobs (just an estimate) should we just cancel out the 15,000? . If there are more jobs than there are locals, obviously we have to issue permits, it's commonsense. Bitching doesn't solve anything, let's educate our youth and show them the opportunities out there. Aspiring to work at the Admin Complex from graduation to retirement is not the way to go.
  • Minorities (27/01/2012, 11:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is amazing to see how we continue to play the blame game. While education is evolving we must understand change does not happen over night. The education system has not truly changed much over the last 20 years. Consider how long the same structures have been standing with out much renovations to the school. We continue to see government officials play around with the systems because of egos. There need to be some serious decisions taken , not the firing of persons, while some may be unavoidable, but providing training, for teachers, equipment in the schools, setting standards and structure for students. parents need to get more invlved in the appropriate way, the social disconnect needs to be addressed. All government dept. need to work together to develope programs that will filter students to their dept. upon completion of HS and college. I can go on and on. But leadership and vision must be in the hearts of those who lead the country and those who have influence. Competition is good it call bvislanders to get up off the rear and work. We are taking everything for granted.
  • Confucius (27/01/2012, 12:34) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The KATS programme has been teaching BVI children to sail for many years now. How many of these children who had the benefit of this very worthwhile programme have pursued careers in the yacht charter industry? It is not for want of education in this area at all! Many of our young adults can sail ~ and they sail very well ~ but many have chosen the typical career path that their PARENTS have steered them towards! If it's not an office job, it is beneath them! I blame the parents for not encouraging their children to take advantage of the KATS programme and other sailing programmes available in the BVI. If they want jobs as captain's, the jobs are there to be had. All they have to do is prove they have the sailing and people skills to handle the job and the self discipline to show up for work!
  • Madness (27/01/2012, 13:13) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I know a few dumb, rude and pretentious VERY Pretentious filipinos/asian don't like the smiles fool you, there are that in every race/culture. When visiting a country/ the caribbean I would like to see caribbean people and not find myself confused as to what country I am IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. cheap labour will always be an issue. When you can't do better you will take any crap until the day you feel you have enough strenght to fight. filipinos aren't any different to any other race/culture they take crap cause in the their country a doctor/professional makes less than 3.50 a week So yes they will come and work their Think it was said best in that article, Where Minister Pickering said he will not sit by and allow another people to coming in and make his own poor. VI is and should always be for its people. Look at history people (Africa-Blacks enslaved, America-Native America destroyed, Fiji-Poor disenfranchised)
  • fate maduro (27/01/2012, 17:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    these talk show hosts always talking some piss and fart...cannot believe people still tune in...
  • E.Leonard (27/01/2012, 23:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    We were slow off the mark and caught flat footed in effectively training and educating Virgin Islanders to meet the new and growing employment demand created by rapid growth and changing economies. Commencing in the 1960's, the BVI's economy started the shift from an agricultural to tourism and financial services. Now, they are the twin pillars of the economy. Nonetheless, we have not trained Virgin Islanders to meet needs of these industries. And we are paying the price for the short-shortsightedness. Instead we have to import labor to perform jobs that Virgin Islanders should have been trained to do. Moreover, the labor force is segmented. For example, Virgin Islanders are concentrated in government, statutory bodies, and banking; while expats through no fault of their own, are concentrated in building trades, top managerial positions in the tourism and financial services industries. Moreover, the BVI like its sister Anglophone countries, featured agriculture as it primary economy. But agriculture had a stigma associated with it. Consequently, parents encourage their children to migrate to the city to find administrative work in government and other offices. But along the way the territory changed and we did not keep pace with the change. The change and growth demanded electricians, nurses, plumbers, AC&R techs, teachers, automotive mechanics, carpenters, masons, IT techs, appliance and equipment repair techs, lab technicians, accountants, gas engine repair, boat capts., marina workers, professors, policemen, lawyers, water system technicians, heavy equipment operators, wastewater system technicians, doctors, physician assts., road net work workers, air traffic controllers, firemen, architects, technologists, surveyors.......etc. Clearly, there is a shortage in many of these skills. We are in a difficult situation but the problem is not insurmountable. Consequently, urgent action is needed to right this ship and reduce the friction between Virgin Islanders and expat. Expats are often blame for our lack of proper planning. This blame is misplaced, for expats are, for the most part, filling an employment void. In regards to government stepping in and setting floors on wage rate, I'm not too sure how effective this will be in a free market economy. Basic economics states that the quantity demanded varies inversely with the price. Thus at higher wages set by government, not by the market, the demand for more workers will go down but the cost of providing the goods or services will go up(rising prices). Further, prices rise because the amount demanded exceeds the amount supplied at existing prices; while prices fall because the amount supplied exceeds the amount demanded. Price control is a good political talking point. But the consumer may not be better off; prices increase with additional expenses. The market with effective competition determines the real price. I understand consumers plight and share their pain but price control may not bring the relief that they deserve. Market forces should bring the needed relief.
  • Diaspora (28/01/2012, 08:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    As always you have excellent, reasonable, balanced comments. Doc need to bring you on board as an advisor. It will be value for money. On many issues, I look for comments by you, Ray, Real Talk, Confucius, Benito, and hosts of others. Their is hope for the BVI if it can marshalled all its talent. But that talent will have to accept that someone has to lead and others have to follow, though not blindly.
  • Quiet Storm (29/01/2012, 11:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The bottomline is that the BVI must provide its citizens with the knowledge, skills, and experience to effectively compete in the economy. This is shared responsibility among government, families, and civil society. But thus far the collected effort of the groups has been very successful. We need to aggressively reverse this situation, putting our young citizens in a more competitive position. Government needs to modernized the education system---policies,programmers, procedures, outcome. Parents and civil society must adopt it takes a village approach to set the compass and guide our children.
  • dgraw (29/01/2012, 16:02) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Might I suggest that the technical school be placed in the existing E.S.H.S. If government is that broke and cannot build another two high schools either convert a primary or two or allow some private person to build them. Offer them concessions on material and possible crown lands etc. Government could also offer scholarship for those who wish to transfer to the new schools. This will assist E.S.H.S. to handle properly the technical areas properly. Additionally the new schools could have introductions classes in wood work and housekeeping. A hotel school where all facets of that industry is taught as we shore up the industry with our own talent and skill would also be nice. Graduating 180 children has always been a concern and it has come to light in respect of the quality of education being taught and persons being sent out into the world. We can have smaller classrooms thereby those who hid in the back of the class will have the attention so necessary. We cannot invest no less in the education of our children. A mind is truly a terrible thing to waste so let us not waste time opining on doing RIGHT for our kids.

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