Minister of Youth and Culture, Stephen Lashley, has described the second installment of the Endless Possibilities programmes as a success.
At the time he was congratulating the 31 graduates of the programme during a ceremony, which was held this morning at the Savannah Beach Hotel in Hastings, Christ Church.
Endless Possibilities is a five-month mentorship and job attachment programme focused on offering young people between the ages of 16 and 24 an opportunity to gain life skills and the possibility of long-term employment.
Lashley said he was happy to note that the success of this cohort surpassed that of the first, and added that his Ministry was fully committed to developing programmes that brought a holistic approach to youth development.
Of those who participated, he explained, 24 were granted placements by private sector agencies and the remaining seven were attached to various Government ministries, departments and statutory corporations. By the end of the programme, 18 of the participants were still employed.
He also reported that as of today, 14 of those young people remain in long term employment, while some of the others received calls to substitute for workers who were on leave. “As we go forward with this programme, the Cabinet of Barbados, recognising the significant positive impact such a programme can have on the lives of our youth, has instructed the staff of my ministry to develop a strategic plan to ensure the sustainability of Endless Possibilities.
“Thus, greater efforts will be made to widen the employers’ base, so that the high demand by the youth to enter the programme can be facilitated,” he revealed.
He added: “No more can prospective workers hoping to become part of a workforce, be comfortable with having just a skill as the main tool for survival. More and more, I believe that the demands of a rapidly changing global environment has led employers to require an extra edge from prospective employees.
“A major component of the Endless Possibilities programme is the one-month training on personal development. Participants are guided on the path of personal excellence, faith and spirituality, building self esteem; work ethics and etiquette amongst other areas.
“I still believe that the majority of our young people, if given the opportunity, will wish to make a contribution to the development of not only themselves but to the development of our nation. Endless Possibilities, as the name suggests, provides that second chance for many of the nation’s youth. “A critical part of the mandate of my ministry is to ensure that those areas outlined in the National Youth Policy which directly relate to youth unemployment, and improved standard of living for youth, of whom some will be our future leaders, are addressed in a meaningful and sustainable manner.
“Hence the officers of the ministry are always keen to develop partnerships with bona fide persons and organisations also interested in empowering the youth,” said Lashley.
Today’s awardees included: Katrina Sealy, who was the Most Outstanding Participant; Danton Phillips, who was awarded for Leadership and Motivation, Outstanding Work Ethic, Outstanding Participation; Trelainna Cutting — Outstanding Work Ethic, Punctuality and Attendance; Dario Piggott, was Most Improved and awarded for his punctuality and attendance; and Faith Chukwuka for her participation, Most Supportive Participant and Outstanding Work Ethic. (KC)†