Sixty young people yesterday graduated from a Barbados Youth Service (BYS) training programme, armed with life skills and academic knowledge for their next phase of development.
Minister of Youth and Culture, Stephen Lashley described the young adults as, “Diamonds in the rough that have been polished and are now shining”.
During the graduation ceremony held at the Sir Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, BYS director Hally Haynes gave an outline
of the number of training exercises the young people participated in during the programme that began last October.
“During the life skills programme, graduands received training in first aid, fire fighting, water safety and rescue at sea . . . these graduands are now qualified and capable to assist in the event of any disaster,” he said.
While expressing satisfaction with their academic achievements so far, Haynes explained that some trainees also excelled in martial arts and football.
“The Barbados Youth Service is a holistic training programme, which affords trainees the opportunity to pursue and acquire CXC certification in their respective areas of interest . . . the CXC programme is a two-year programme. However, our methodology of offering a one-on-one approach in the delivery of teaching and instruction has resulted in the Barbados Youth Service registering trainees within one academic year,” he said.
Of the 26 trainees who took the Caribbean Examination Council Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, 15 gained certification.
Following their BYS training, the school leavers are now set to either continue vocational or academic studies at post-secondary educational institutions such as the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic or enter the world of work.