"As the body representing the private sector, we are focused on supporting businesses to thrive and create jobs, but at the same time we need to inspire our students, our young generation to aim high and to reach their full potential, as they are our future workforce as well as business entrepreneurs."
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI), Ms Atenasi Ata, uttered these sentiments at the 2019 Careers Market yesterday at Woodford International School grounds.
This year’s Careers Market was marked with the theme ‘Pathway to future Careers’, with the one-day event attracting hundreds of students from schools in and around Honiara.
The Careers Market was initiated to provide information on post-school training and employment options as well as information in support services available for our students and community.
Ms Ata said says the Chamber sees this event as a platform where dreams can start taking off.
“We see that our students are our pride and our future. The chamber sees this as an event to assist students in thinking more concretely about the type of future that they want for themselves,” she said.
The SICCI CEO further added that the Chamber sees the Careers Market as one that poses alternatives.
“Where a certified mechanic, is considered as equally valuable as being a lawyer. And equally as important as an accountant, as plumber, as builders and so on,” Ms Ata said.
The Careers Market programme included an exhibition of businesses who are members of the Chamber of Commerce as well as other organisations, Government ministries and presentations made by key speakers and stall displays set up around the field for students, parents and members of the general public to visit.
There were twenty-five (25) stalls.
The students also had the opportunity to listen to inspirational talks from Dr Welshman Gegeu, Dr Derek Mane and Pilot Alex Takola.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Labour and Immigration (MCILI), Mr Riley Mesepitu was keynote speaker at the 2019 Careers Market.
“This Careers Market is an avenue where young people get to think about their future and the importance of getting an education so you can either get a job or start your own business.
“I’d like to make mention that young people must develop the idea of starting their own business and not just looking for a job,” Mr Mesepitu said.
Meanwhile, Mr Alex Haro, Principal of Woodford International Secondary School, said hosting such an event as Careers Market encourages young people to think about their future and the importance of an education that matches their goal in careers.
“This is also a great opportunity for businesses and organizations to engage with the form 5 - 7 students by not just talking to them about their job, but also reinforcing the importance of staying at school and improving their skills now so that the base is set to achieve whatever path they choose,” he said.
Manager of the Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise Centre (SISBEC), Ben Nginabule, highlights the importance of the event as a time to promote entrepreneurship and business developments to our young people.
“It is very important that our young generation are encouraged and supported to develop an entrepreneurial mindset so they can develop interest to start their own business ventures at the young age.
“The career market is an exciting event for everybody. When more young people engage in business, more job opportunities will be created and that is good for our young people going forward,” Mr Nginabule said.
The Careers Market was organized through the partnership between Woodford International School, SICCI and SISBEC.
It is the third such event since the inaugural Careers Market in 2017.