Following another successful staging of the WorldSkills Barbados Competition, Minister of Labour Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo is giving the assurance that contest is “here to stay”.
Addressing the award ceremony of the biennial competition at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Wednesday evening, Byer-Suckoo said it was not only good for the competitors, but also for the training institutions.
She said the competition, which is in its third iteration, had made improvements over the years and that was proof enough officials associated with it were doing a good job.
“WorldSkills is not only here to stay, but we are ready to take it to the next level. This means that several things will have to happen, which will ensure that there is proper resourcing for Barbados to benefit from the full impact of being involved in WorldSkills competitions,” said byer-Suckoo.
“We will need the full support of corporate Barbados; not just the committed few who see the short and long-term benefits to their organization,” she said, adding that there was need for more developmental support.
Meanwhile partner at KPMG, Brenda Pope, speaking on behalf of the sponsors of the event, advised the participants to always plan their future, and set realistic goals and the various steps they would need to achieve those goals.
Pope said it was necessary sometimes to see entrepreneurship as an option as opposed to wanting to climb the corporate ladder within someone else’s organization.
“People still talk about climbing the corporate ladder, but I am here to share with you that you can take the stairs instead,” she said.
Sharing her ABCs To Success, Pope told the young people that continuous learning was critical, as was discipline and dedication, enthusiasm and being energetic in every task they undertook.
She also advised them to be open to feedback as they found a mentor.
“It is critical that you define both personal and professional goals and define what your success looks like to you. Does success equal money or does it mean more authority or greater opportunity to travel? Whatever it is, once you know what makes you tick, use it to motivate yourself,” said Pope, adding that honesty and integrity were important attributes to the process.
She also called on the individuals to maintain balance in all aspects of their lives, adding that it was critical to develop their information and communication technology skills.
There were four categories of competition this year: garment making, culinary arts, automotive and hairdressing.
Besides walking away with the titles of first, second and third place in each category, participants also received gift certificates, internships, scholarships and other awards.
This year there were also a Social Media Award and a Spirit Of The Competition Award.