Jamaica's work experience programme

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This study investigates the reactions of students, teachers, and work supervisors to the work experience programme (WEP) implemented in Jamaican New Secondary schools in 1975. Factors that militated against the achievement of the objectives of the programme and how the WEP influenced the working lives of young people were also investigated. Students, teachers, and employers felt that giving experience in the world of work, and providing opportunities for practical experience in vocational fields were the main purposes that the WEP served. Lack of proper supervision at the workplace, having to do menial tasks shunned by other workers, lack of opportunities for getting experience in areas related to their vocational training were seen as the main obstacles to the achievement of the programme objectives. More graduates of the WEP were unemployed than employed. The paper points to the need for improved organization of the secondary school curriculum, a centralization of vocational programmes, changes in negative attitudes towards practical/manual work, and the need for employment generating strategies in any future efforts to improve the WEP


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