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The role of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in developing human capital in the region will be the focus of a symposium for employers, educators and students scheduled for Thursday, February 26 at the Undercroft of the Senate Building on the Mona campus. Increasing globalisation and the dynamics of the world of work pose challenges to educators, and the UWI in particular, in attempting to meet the complexities of job market requirements.

Over the years, the UWI, as the leading tertiary institution in the region, has made distinct changes geared to meeting the needs of the job market in the competitive environment of the 21st Century. These have included the restructuring of some programmes, and the introduction of new ones at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. In the area of student services, for example, the institution has developed programmes and promoted collaboration among faculties and departments to focus on the wholistic development of students.

One such programme is the annual Career Awareness Month organised by the Office of Placement and Career Services. This year, for the first time, what was Career Awareness Week has been expanded into a month of activities, which began on February 8 and will continue through to March 5.

The symposium is one of the major events of Career’s Month and, under the theme “The UWI: Shaping the Future of Our Human Resources”, will explore critical issues of globalisation and the UWI’s efforts to develop a regional response and provide needed expertise.

Professor Kenneth Hall, Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the UWI Mona campus, will lead discussion on the topic along with a panel of experienced presenters. These will include Herbert Lewis of the Jamaica Employers Federation, representatives from the National Commercial Bank and Ernst and Young, as well as a young UWI graduate.

The seminar is timely, coming at a time when economic and social issues are at the forefront of the national agenda, along with impending regional and international trading activities. The panel discussion is expected to bring together major stakeholders to share information and ideas and forge alliances aimed at preparing students, workers and employers for the new era.

The seminar has received support from the international accounting firm, Ernst and Young, which is providing sponsorship to stage the event.

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