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THE CHOICE OF A CAREER

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THE CHOICE OF A CAREER ADVICE TO PUPILS AND PARENTS. VARIOUS FIELDS IN THE WORLD OF OCCUPATION. Dr Fred Wilson, the chairman- of the school governors, presided over a goodly gathering of parents and pupils and others at the Newtown County School on Thurs- day evening, when Mr Henry C. Devine, director of the Future Career Association, delivered a lecture which was intended to help parents and pupils to concentrate attention upon various departments of State and branches of industry offering successful careers for educated boys. The proceedings having been opened with a sweetly sung glee by a number of the pupils, the Chairman briefly introduced the lecturer. He sympathised with the parental difficulty so often experienced, especially in small towns, in determining the par- ticular avocations to which the young people should be put, and he hoped Mr Devine would lessen that difficulty by showing the various fields of service at- tractive to well-educated youth, and how to enter them and succeed in them. In this way boys might be helped to decide upon the calling for which they were best fitted, and so enabled to do credit to them- selves, their parents, and their school (ap- plause). THE LECTURE. Mr Devine emphasised the initial point that a good deal of life's succc:hinged upon the choice which a boy made ■ f his calling or the choice which was mui. for him. He asked the boys present to imagine themselves along with him up in a balloon, flying above the world of occupation and peering down through. their glasses upon the people engaged in different occupations all over the world, in order that they might uecide for themselves which calling they should follow. Those occupations might be divided into three groups or classes. They saw a great many young people engaged in occupations which might be called indoor work a considerable number pursued out- door callings, and many also followed oc- cupation.- which were both indoor and out- door. Therefore, in deciding their future career, they must consider, among other things, which of those conditions would suit them best. The parent, of course, must be governed by the boy's tempera- ment, his capacity and limitations, and the question of his circumstances was also an important consideration. Those matters should be parentally considered as early as possible. There was work in the world for perhaps not in Newtown-but the im- t portant. thing was to discover what occupa- tion was best for the boy. It was not a gooa thing to have too high or too low an ambition. Let boys aspire to positions which they thought themselves capable of doing well in. Mr Devine then proceeded to enumerate positions available to boys in the State service, particularly boy clerk- ships, following which competitive exam- inations were held as a qualification for !>fomot,ion. these examinations could be passed by county school boys, but many T "plucked" because of inaccuracy in arithmetic and spelling, and also by reason of faulty spelling. Beyond school educa- tion, tney required special coaching for examinations but this could be ob- tained these days by correspondence. There were good positions open to educated boys in the Post Office service, the India Office, the Admiralty, the Excise and other Government departments, offering salaries to the extent of £ 600, with subsequent pen- sions. Mr Devine ;dso described various departments in the municipal service which formed a good field for youth, and after- wards dealt with the business and profes- sional fields." He was told that Welsh boys wanted to be either teachers or preachers, but "these were professions which ought only to be adopted by young people who were enthusiastic for the one or the other. SOME HELPFUL HINTS. Don't let them be teachers or preachers for the mere sake of being able to wear p. black coat. In commercial and professional life he desiderated a good manner. Pro- ceeding, he said he thought the business world of occupation was too much over- looked by parents of secondary school children. Too many wanted to join the ad- visory class. Only a certain number of people were required to advise us, but there was plenty of room in the world for those who were willing to produce its wealth. He recently asked a business man what were the qualities requisite in a boy for success in business, and that gentleman replied the earnest desire to succeed with a difficult purpose, the determination to rise to something out of the common rut, and the readiness to pay the price with in- dustry and patience, and the following of a career for which he is adapted, instead of going for a calling for which his capabili- ties are doubtful." There was a Russian proverb which ran, The man who goes out to shoot two wolves, will not shoot one." If they meant to suceced in any business, they must have the necessary qualities, and chief among these were tenacity of purpose and concentration. Don't think when they saw successful men of business that their success was a question of luck. There might have been a little luck, but success was almost invariably resultant of hard work, concentration of purpose morning, I noon, and night. and organisation and de- termination. Starting in business, they must determine to learn all they can about it. A boy was asked, What is cloth made out of ? and his answer was, I don't know." That boy would not succeed if he was not sufficiently interested to learn all that could be learnt about his particular business. That morning he dropped into a barber's shop at Paddington for a shave, and having little time in which to catch the train for Newtown, lie asked the young barber if his clock was right. He said, "I don't know '(laughter). That young man would never succeed. He ought to have answered, I don't know, but I will find out." Dealing with agricultural work, Mr Devine pictured the scope it offered in our colones. Parents, no doubt, felt to part with their children. Yet the best parents would be prepared to make sacrifices for the life's success of their families. Con- cluding an instructive lecture, Mr Devine observed that boys could not succeed in life unless they were reliable, thoughtful, and quick. They must learn those things in the school, and they would practice them in after-life. The chief requirement of success was devotion to duty, whether it was easy or difficult, pleasant or unpleasant. If they grew up with that idea, they would find it the secret of success. Many people did not succeed because they experienced difficulties. They said, I could have done this only for that." There was no credit in doing a thing unless it involved the over- coming of difficulties. There was no easy way to success. Everything worth having was difficult to get, but if they tackled diffi- culties in the right spirit they overcame them. Sir George Reid, the High Commis- sioner for Australia, said, When I come to an obstacle I try to get over it, and if I cannot get over it, I try to get under it. If I cannot get under it, I try to get round it, and if I cannot do that I lie down in the shade and go to sleep, and when I awake it has either vanished or I find myself re- freshed sufficiently to overcome it" (applause). The Chairman hoped that the useful hints given by Mr Devine would stick to them, and prove helpful in directing the desires of the young people. The head master and head mistress would be in touch with the Association which Mr Devine represented, by which means they wished to be able to assist the young people attending this school to embark upon successful careers (applause). COLONEL PRYCE-JONES' VIEWS. Colonel Pryce-Jones said he was attracted to the meeting by a notice which appeared in the Express.' Having so much to do with the people of Newtown as an employer of labour, he felt that he ought to attend a lecture upon such a subject, and he had brought his son with him. He must con- gratulate the Chairman and Governors, and the head teachers, for the idea of bringing Mr Devine to lecture upon such an import- ant question as the future of the pupils and the young people generally in Newtown. He agreed that it was a most difficult thing to fix the avocation of their boys when their education was finished. It was thought up to a year or two ago that-if they trained them to be teachers and preachers the field of service would always have sufficient scope, but at present they witnessed a great con- gestion in the scholastic profession. Teachers who had been trained were unable to find places. A very large percentage of those young people who left our intermediate schools left our county altogether, and thus, so to speak, they were training their best for the benefit of other parts of England. Nobody objected to that, but at the same time they felt it would be better if there were occupations for them in their own dis- trict. They were sorry that occupations were not so numerous for them here as lay outside the county, hence the difficulty of knowing what business or profession they should be put to. In Newtown the people were de- pending upon a few miljs and warehouses, and if young people did not do well, or by accident lost their employment, it was diffi- cult for them to find employment in the town. The idea of specialising education for the industrial and commercial needs of the district was one which was deservedly en- gaging attention, but in a small place like Newtown that was difficult to do. Such education, however, might encourage the rising generation to develop the industrial resources of Newtown, or at any' rate, better qualify them for the industrial opportunities now available. Very often they found at the Royal Welsh Warehouse the necessity for importing special workers, because they required men of experience and capacity, and such men commanded good salaries. The Colonel concluded by proposing a vote of thanks to the Lecturer, the Chairman, the Governors, the Head "Master and Head Mistress. Mr Edward Jones (Maesmawr Hall), in seconding, said he thoroughly agreed with what Colonel Pryce-Jones had said. Edu- cation in Wales had made a very rapid advance of late years. They now had uni- versities, secondary schools, and excellent Council schools, and after taking all this trouble to educate their young people, it was of the utmost importance that they should have every guidance and direction in the selection of their careers in life. He bonpr) that this lecture would have that beneficial result (applause). The motion was heartily carried. A DISCUSSION. Mr J. E. Roberts thought it was a very happy thought of the Head Master to bring Mr Devine to Newtown. The lecture would remove doubts as to whether the schools in Wales were running on practical lines. That charge could not at all events be brought against the Newtown County Schools (hear, hear). Mr Andrew said he was interested to listen to Mr Devine's reference to the field of municipal service. He thought that selection for service in that department should be made by means of competitive examina- tions, otherwise the poor man's boy could never have a chance against the influence exerted on behalf of the sons of the well- to-do. Colonel Pryce-Jones asked what advice Mr Devine would tender to the boy who wished to be a carpenter or a grocer. Mr Devine answered that if a man was a good carpenter he could go to any part of the world and always earn his livelihood. In many of the colonies such a skilled tradesman earned several pounds a week. A sound education 'was good for everybody, and the better educated the carpenter and grocer, the better would be his chances of securing the best positions. The worst of it was that education very often induced a distate for manual employment. He wished it did. That was why many of them thought that a good deal of the secondary education in this country should be in the nature of industrial education. Mr C. Wood said that while appreciating the value of the information furnished with respect to the various avenues open to well- educated youths, he thought a vitally im- portant point was the parental direction. No one could direct the parent as to the capacity and the natural aptitude of his or her children so reliably as the head teacher, who was constantly studying the particular bent. of the children under his charge. He instanced the success of this system in. Germany, and hoped that the work of Mr Devines' association would be developed along that line. Mr Ivor Jones, the head master, said he had seventy boys in the school, and their education must necessarily to a large extent run along the same lines of a general edu- cation. No matter what calling a boy might eventually pursue, a sound general educa- tion was essential. Although he might be but a stone-breaker, he was also a citizen, and education was requisite to make him a good citizen (hear, hear). He thought that sometimes parents were too eager to look at the purely material side of education by regarding the pursuit of special subjects at school from the standard of money- making. If there was any capacity for mental growth in a boy, the pursuit of gen- eral subjects was sure to make him more efficient in any occupation in life. They could not accommodate their school teach- ing to overtake specialization in all desira- ble subjects. Their schools had received a I good deal of adverse criticisms because they could not prepare pupils for any and every occupation. They could only lay the gen- eral foundation. Parents should not be afraid of sending their sons from secondary schools to occupations in which they re- ceived very low salaries or even no salary at all. A secondary education for four years should not be regarded as a testimon- ial to an employer of labour, accom- panied by the parental request for a s'alary at once. Jt did not mean that. It only meant that the secondary school boy had had a superior education, that his brains had been developed, and that all other things being equal, he would climb the ladder more quickly than a boy who had not been favoured with such advantages. Nothing more could be expected than that. A very interesting meeting thereafter concluded.

SERIOUS CHARGE OF WAREHOUSE…

SCENES THAT DISGRACE NEWTOWN.

Old-Age Pensions in Montgomeryshire.*

Dolfor Rainfall for October.

- UNIONIST MEETING AT MONTGOMERY.…

LLANIDLOES MUNICIPAL ELECTION.