Youth with a mission
The Youth Link Apprenticeship programme is creating successful entrepreneurs.
Today marked the end of the seven month training programme and it culminated with an exhibition of what was learnt and implemented in business projects at the Old Republic Bank building on Lower Broad Street in the City.
The programme, which was held in partnership with the Republic Bank, Barbados Youth Business Trust and The Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Youth Enterprise, was a community outreach programme designed to embrace young people and show them what was required of them as they transitioned from university/college/secondary school into the world of work.
It was opened to people between ages 16-19 and it taught them life skills that they would need in a business environment, including time management, target marketing, the product display and ways to present themselves.
Ten people participated in the programme and Training Officer and Programme Coordinator for the Youth Link programme, Michelle Harding, explained to Barbados TODAY that this year they were divided into two businesses, Tenacity† Marketing and Go Getters Limited.
They created their own business plans, marketing strategies, sourced businesses in need of marketing then presented their products or services to the bank’s staff for sale and to be operational for three months.
“For seven months they rotated through the bank through our various departments, both customer facing and non-customer facing areas so that they got a holistic idea of what the bank is about, what is the industry that they are in. They also had presentations from the areas that they might not necessarily rotate into,” said Harding.
She added: “The whole idea is that they get an opportunity to meet with senior officers in the bank, asked them questions, learnt from them the various facets of the bank. Also for a young person to be complete they needed to know or come to a realisation that the same skills that you need as a an employee are [what] you need if you are running your own business.
“What they have done is introduce those companies to a niche market within the bank, they have not only opened more business for the bank but a market for the companies they would have marketed to us.”
This current programme runs until May and the next will begin in October. (KC)†