Be positive workers

Republic Bank’s CEO Derwin Howell with this year’s apprentices.

Inability to communicate, lack of discipline, low self-esteem, poor work ethic, lack of pride in work and interest in their jobs, poor listening skills, poor time management- absenteeism and tardiness, and unrealistic expectations are some of “common inadequacies or deficiencies”, employers found in young school leavers.

NISE’s Chief Executive Officer Kim Tudor said at the launch of this year’s Republic Bank’s Youth Link Apprenticeship Programme at the Grand Salle, that those characteristics tend to result in the individuals being labelled as negative performers.

“Negative performers are content to leave performance at existing levels: have little interest in developing their skills further. Disown responsibility for their own tasks. Distance themselves from responsibility for the team’s performance. Give up in the face of obstacles and don’t demonstrate a sense of personal responsibility for delivery. Take a narrow focus, taking decisions in the interest of their own team or self. Are risk adverse: undermine confidence by focusing on difficulties, problems and obstacles. Act as if knowledge is power: reluctant to pass on their skills to others. Don’t involve team members where appropriate. React to symptoms rather than trying to understand the underlying causes. Are resistant to change and avoid difficult conversations and confrontation,” she said.

Tudor asked the apprentices to make a commitment that none of the traits she mentioned would define them.

“You will desist from these things and practice new behaviours and refrain from giving anyone the opportunity to label you as a negative performer,” she added.

Managing Director and CEO of Republic Bank (Barbados) Ltd. Derwin Howell, who also addressed the launch, said that “youth is a time of great expectations and exceedingly high hopes to which only the sky is the limit.

“The overwhelming majority of young people are responsible, hard-working and energetic. They are determined to make a better future for themselves and for others, and they are working hard to make it happen. Unfortunately, reality often falls short of these expectations,” he said.

Howell added: “Republic Bank’s Youth Link Apprenticeship Programme is one of our initiatives to assist in the bridging of this gap. Every year, a group of talented, young persons will be given an opportunity to enhance their skills by intensive hands-on experience for a seven month period.

“The Youth Link Apprenticeship Programme is designed to impact on the lives of persons from age 17 to 19. Through this programme, the Youth Link Apprentices will enhance their communication skills, be exposed to all aspects of banking and will make a positive difference as they participate in a community-based activity which will develop their social consciousness and humanitarian awareness.

“They will have the opportunity to become entrepreneurs as they work with the Barbados Youth Business Trust who will take them on an exciting and life changing journey as businessmen and women. I urge you, the parents and guardians, to lend your support to this worthy endeavour”.

The YouthLink programme gives school leavers a chance to be properly exposed to the world of work. Participants focus on work as well as but lessons in etiquette and serving in the community. (DS)

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