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Robert Montague, Minister of National Security, has said that bachelor’s degrees are a dime a dozen and that persons should find ways to enhance their university education to increase their chances of finding a job.

“Don’t rely solely on your education to take you to your destination. Rather, use it as a stepping stone,”
Montague said as he addressed a group of 100 students who are children of policemen who are currently serving or have died or got injured while on duty. “Many young people are qualified, but jobless. So, even as you pursue your studies, be strategic and think about the opportunities available to you,” the minister said.

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The students have been granted scholarships for their tertiary education by the Ministry of National Security, in partnership with the Jamaica Police Federation. Each scholarship is valued at $200,000 per year over three years.

“Your parents and teachers have a wealth of experience and can provide useful advice. There is also the Internet, which has evolved to becoming the greatest platform for independence and self-growth. Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have become not only tools for self-expression and socialisation among the youth, but have become a career launching pad for persons who are now social media personalities,”
Montague said.

It was also noted that popular blogger Russhaine Berry, popularly known as ‘Dutty Berry’, was one such scholarship recipient who went on to make a name for himself outside of the discipline he studied.

Dutty Berry’s father served the Jamaica Constabulary Force for close to 30 years. The blogger received a scholarship in 2010 which covered his tuition for the three years he studied at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

“It is definitely a good move by the ministry. Police officers work really hard and they make a lot of sacrifices for the country, and I think it’s good that the ministry is able to compensate them in this way. Every job needs a perk and when I found out that I probably didn’t have to go to the Students’ Loan Bureau, it was definitely a good feeling because there was a scholarship that I could make use of; and that is exactly what I did once my father told me it was available,”
Berry said.

The blogger agreed that university students should use their college education to create opportunities for themselves. “I understand why they would use me as an example, because I’m now a public figure and I appreciate the recognition. 

My story speaks to the fact that Jamaican people can be innovative and think outside of the box at all times. The way how the job climate set inna Jamaica, you are not guaranteed a job,” Berry said. “If you go to UWI and study history, you are not guaranteed a job in that field, so you have to sit down and be real clever about how you approach the marketplace.”

Berry said that persons should think about their skill sets and “let it work for you, because that was what I did.

“I appreciate that that’s the message that they (the ministry) are putting out there, because a lot of young people are use to thinking that after college you’re just going to get a job. But that is not what the real world is about. The real world is about assessing all your skills and talents and see what makes you the most competitive,”
he added.


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