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Oct 30, 2018

Study Finds Gap in Graduates to Meet the Demands of the Agriculture and ICT Industries

A skills gap study was officially launched today by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the International Labour Organization. Due to financing constraints, the study looked particularly at agriculture and information and communications technologies. The findings are that there is a mismatch between the demand of the industries and the students coming out of tertiary education institutions. The gap is so wide that there is urgent need for the education curriculum to be aligned with the direction the country is going.  C.E.O. Kim Aikman says that narrowing that gap is a priority in moving the country forward.

 

Kim Aikman

Kim Aikman, C.E.O., Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry

“We have been for some years, feeling that the tertiary level graduates are not meeting the needs of the employers. We keep saying it and we keep knowing that this wasn’t happening; however we had no hard data with which to go to the Ministry of Education and say can we look at curriculum; this is what employers need, this is not what we are getting from the graduates. How can we sit together and try to match what we need with what is coming out of tertiary level institutions. Being a member of the ILO, they have really partnered with us and funded this study for us to be able to get hard and fast data as to what the mismatch or the level of the mismatch that we are currently experiencing. The agriculture sector, we tend to look at it and I think students look at it as oh I have to get down and get my hands dirty and so there is a lack of interest in doing that. And we know that agriculture has many aspects; there is a science part of it, there is a business part of it and those are the areas that we want the curriculum to focus on so that we are able to meet the needs and meet our sectors, what we have identified as priority to move our country forward.”

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