The Job Shadow Programme is an international Junior Achievement initiative, aimed at motivating students to focus on their studies.
Job shadowing allows participating students to experience a “day at work” by showcasing the day-to-day connections between academics and careers. It exposes students to different careers by placing them in a workplace environment and pairing them with a mentor.
“We were pleased to be invited to pilot this new Junior Achievement initiative locally,” said Glenda McTaggart, learning and development manager at Dart. “The students were exposed to the wide range of career opportunities available within the Dart Group of Companies, and gained an understanding of how their classroom learning transitions to the workplace. We hope this experience has highlighted the importance of doing well in school and transferring that success to the workplace.”
The Job Shadow Programme targets students who are in Year 11, a pivotal point in determining their career path. By participating in the initiative and having direct access to mentors who are employed in their chosen areas of study, participants were able to discuss the requirements and career path options for the profession they were considering. Participants also saw firsthand how work readiness skills such as communication and teamwork are used every day in the workplace.
When the students arrived at the Dart offices they were welcomed by Mark VanDevelde, chief executive officer at Dart, who shared his personal career journey and facilitated a question and answer session with the students. Students were then teamed up with their mentors. Mentoring teams included information technology, building operations, construction, customer service and horticulture.
Students also participated in a group lunch and discussion led by Jackie Doak, chief operating officer at Dart, who highlighted the importance of having a good educational foundation, relating this to her own personal experiences.
Teresa Owen-Foster, programme director of Junior Achievement commented, “We are pleased with the outcome of the Job Showing Programme at Dart and feedback from the students has been encouraging. The job shadow experience gave them some real, practical insights into their career selection and development. We want to thank Dart for its continued support of Junior Achievement in the Cayman Islands and we look forward to having other companies participate in the Job Shadowing Programme.”