We Connect is All About our Young Professionals

ORANJESTAD – The University of Aruba together with the foundation We Connect organize a seminar about connecting with young Arubans professionals. The goal is to make it appealing to them to come back to the island for the start or continuation of their career.

The idea is to contact with Arubans living in for example The Netherlands and other countries to find a mutual agreement on returning to the island. The purpose of the seminar is to find a way to bring those who are interested back to have them support their country and proceed their career here. Patrick Brown, treasurer of the foundation, explains that the initial trigger to raise the foundation was the notified gap between the labor market and the young professionals abroad. The foundation functions as an intermediate to decrease this distance.

The seminar will present a panel that will discuss different themes like education within the island, studies abroad and the needs of the local economy of Aruban professionals. The question is whether the study that is chosen to do for example in The Netherlands matches with the needs of the local economy. Often students choose a study abroad and experience meanwhile this was not the right choice. They change studies and might get confused what they can do with it. The need for better guidance is evident as well as the match making between education and eventual career on the island. “In the modern world it is not always that necessary to have that certain study but more that certain level. The employer will value the study and diploma but several studies may be adequate to fulfill the position”, says Brown.

Overall it is important to acknowledge that ‘island children’ have a great value for the local labor market, according to Brown. “They know the culture, the language and the people. For the employer an Aruban employee is easier to hire beacuse there is no need for a work permit.” There is another side to the medal. What happens in the case of lack of experience? Will the employer rather choose an Aruban with less experience than a foreigner with the necessary experience, only because of the fact that she or he is Aruban? What will be the consequences of that? Another aspect to consider is when Arubans have been staying for 5 to 10 years in another country they got adapted to that system, making it harder to come back.

All these questions will be treated in the seminar, being asured of the fact that there is a group of Arubans that is willing to come back and contribute to their island. The labor market needs more flexability, like parttime work, flexible working hours and salary structure to aquire an attractive position in the labor market for young professionals, is the conclusion of the foundation.

All young professionals are welcome to join in the dialogue and share their experiences, as also any other who is interested in the topic. The seminar is free and registration is possible on the website of the university.

Facebook: University of Aruba. Website: www.ua.aw.