Scores of students turned up on Wednesday at the Tobago Technology Centre on Milford Road Canaan for the MIC Institute of Technology’s job and career job.
Dr Ellis Burris, Chief Executive Officer of the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA), delivering the keynote address, told the students that to build a productive society, they had to show leadership.
“When you lead, let the others follow because you have been singled out to be here today to ensure that you make a change or a dent in the society.
“Tobago needs you and …you have to be able to contribute something that would make Tobago need you,” Burris said.
He underscored the importance of education in moving an individual forward in life.
“Now education is an invaluable process, you cannot put a value to it because of what it does, it translates over time and from generation to generation, you get the information transferred over time and therefore there is no value over that,” he said, advising students to have a plan and put their best foot forward when making career choices and decisions.
“Try to develop what is required of you, make your skills be the best, deliver at your best at all times because if you don’t, you fail yourself.
“The first thing you have to do as a young person is to have a plan. Career calls for a plan, you plan to do something therefore there are prerequisites to doing it. If you want to be an engineer, you know you have to be strong in mathematics, physics, chemistry and therefore you have to put those things in place. You have to have an orderly mind, a mind that is disciplined.”
Burris said self-discipline was key and a driving force that employers look for in candidates when hiring… “for the best person to put in positions; persons who can deliver, persons who can educate others, persons who can train those who are coming in, to be the best.
“Industry calls for development and for money. If you don’t have money you can’t run an industry and if you are not performing to the best of your ability, then the industry fails,” he said.
Burris also advised the students that the right choices on subjects and courses of study makes a difference but that the right attitude, and good character, were also crucial.
“Industry calls for people who have knowledge of the industry in which they want to work, and that is the reason why you are here at this institution, to have the practical knowledge to enable you to function in an industry environment, but besides that, while you take on board your knowledge that is required to run the industry, HR departments call for people who have good behaviour, so you have to discipline yourself, you have to do better with your conduct and your morals and when you apply for a job and you stick all the paper that you have from this training centreat MIC onto that application form, the HR officer looks at it and says this is a good person but now you have to have three recommendations to support it, although you have a very outstanding record in education, your morals and behaviour might be of question, therefore you have to build good character.”