THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6: Good afternoon and many thanks for joining me.

Today I am absolutely thrilled to join with Mr. Ralph Richardson, Chairman of the Career Fair Organizing Committee to highlight next week’s Career Fair.

Now in its 7th year, this event will be held at the Bermuda College, next Thursday and Friday, October 13th and 14th from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.

Led by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Education and ACE, more than a dozen organisations will come together to sponsor what we feel will be one of the most exciting career events to date.

Ladies and gentlemen, this event brings together more than 70 exhibitors who will be profiling career opportunities for Bermuda’s youth and for those seeking career advice.

In a moment, I will turn it over to Mr. Richardson who will provide you with some of the finer details of the event, however, for our part, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will have a strong presence, with several sections of our Ministry colleagues taking part.

In particular the offices of:

The National Training Board

The Department of Labour and Training; and 

The Bermuda Small Business Development Corporation

In fact this year will see the addition of the Career Transition component for the first time at the Fair.

Together our sections will be providing attendees with sound career advice, whether they are unemployed, seeking a career, looking to upgrade their skills or looking to embark on becoming an entrepreneur.

While we understand that due to the challenges being faced with the economy, the reality is that there are limited job prospects.

However we believe that it is still important to provide a solid advisory service to those young people and to those individuals seeking guidance in how to navigate in this tough job market.

Ladies and gentlemen, before I turn it over to Mr. Richardson, I just want to take a quick moment to share some of my thoughts about the importance of private and public sector entities coming together in partnership, particularly in light of the current challenges that we are facing.

You have heard me speak at every opportunity of the need to ensure that we address the current economic challenges in unison.

Quite simply, it will take the coming together of the public and private sector entities to chart a course of recovery.  

And this event is a clear demonstration of that.

As you are aware later today I along with the Association of Bermuda International Business Companies (ABIC), the Bermuda Employers Council (BEC) and the Bermuda Hotel Association (BHA) will host The Great Debate: You and the Economy forum.

While the main thrust of the discussion will be about Bermuda’s economy – as it relates to the value of foreign revenue and the steps Bermuda must take to retain and grow its earnings – the event’s aim is to also foster an atmosphere of understanding and cooperation with all stakeholders regarding what we are facing as a community.

We recognise that if we are to steer through these troubled waters, we must continue to cultivate our partnerships by working with employers and other corporate entities more closely, because we believe it is in everyone’s best interest to employ more Bermudians.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve said it before and I will repeat it… the challenges we are facing may be daunting, but they are not insurmountable. This economy will turn around.

And I have every confidence that if we continue to keep the lines of communication open and work together we will return to the heights of economic success and growth experienced prior to the onset of the global financial challenges.

In the meantime I will continue to work with my team to build on the very real programmes that my Ministry has been engaged in over the past ten months or so to ensure that we uphold our responsibilities to the people of Bermuda. 

We welcome this event as we see it as another step in readying our Bermudians to take their rightful place in our workforce.

This Fair will help them focus on future career choices, and make the connection between learning and earning. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to close by encouraging any and everyone to attend next week’s Career Fair as I think that there will be something for everyone.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the organisers and sponsors for making this event a reality, and I now invite Mr. Ralph Richardson to say a few words on behalf of the Organising Committee.

Thank you.