Regional

Colleges encouraged to share labour market information with students

Monday, January 13, 2014    

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OCHO RIOS, St Ann — Denise Amyot, President and CEO of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), has appealed to Jamaican community colleges to make labour market information available to their students as a means of better preparing them for the world of work.

Amyot, who was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony for the Council of Community Colleges of Jamaica (CCCJ) conference at the Sunset Jamaica Grande last week, also urged that the information be used as a tool to determine the relevance of programmes offered.

Access to labour market information, she added, will also serve to better guide students to study in areas where jobs will be available.

"Did we tell them how many students last year found a job?" she queried.

In her presentation Amyot highlighted that a popular measurement of the success of college programmes was often determined by the students' satisfaction, the employers' satisfaction and the employment rate.

She also encouraged educators to keep up-to-date with the workplace so they will be better able to prepare students.

"If you are not in range with the industry how do you want your students to be ready for jobs?" she added.

Another thing the first female head of the ACCC urged educators to do was train students not just to become employed, but to be entrepreneurs. She also called on college administrators to help to dispel the myths that universities are more important than colleges.

"We need both, one is not better than the other; they are just different types of institutions," she explained.

She pointed out that it has also been a trend for governments to offer more scholarships and internships to university students than those in colleges. She explained, however, that this inequity was not beneficial for development.

Several retired educators were honoured during the conference opening, including immediate past interim president Howard Isaac, who was presented with a special award by the CCCJ.

The conference was held under the theme: "Critical Transformations: Essentials for Community Colleges".

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