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Education Minister not shocked by students’ desire to work overseas

There is nothing “shocking” about Bermuda's teenagers planning to launch their careers overseas, according to Education Minister Dame Jennifer Smith.

She told the House of Assembly she would expect the majority of young people at school abroad to start their professional lives in the country where they studied.

“I think our young people should widen their horizons and open up their minds,” said the former Premier during the motion to adjourn debate on Friday.

“I encourage them to go abroad, open their minds and then come back and bring their knowledge and excitement back to their home.

“I do not see it as a bad thing. I instead see the glass as half full.”

Dame Jennifer was reacting to comments reported to have been made by Andrew Phillips, the CEO of Global Arts Entertainment and organiser of an annual youth conference.

Teenagers attending the two-day conference last week were asked by a US motivational speaker how many wanted to live in Bermuda after leaving school and just three put their hands up.

According to a report in the Bermuda Sun, Mr Phillips said: “I've just experienced the most shocking revelation I've experienced since these conferences started.

“This is a junior shepherding programme designed to help you guys visualise what you want to do in Bermuda.

“The point was, come back and make the changes here. It was shocking to see no one put up their hands for wanting to come back to Bermuda.”

Dame Jennifer said: “I do not find it amazing, I do not find it unusual, when our intelligent and bright young people say ‘after I go abroad to college, no, I will not go back to Bermuda'. I expect them to stay and get some experience.”

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Published March 28, 2011 at 10:24 am (Updated March 28, 2011 at 10:24 am)

Education Minister not shocked by students’ desire to work overseas

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