A top official of the Barbados Youth Service (BYS) says he is generally pleased with the performance of recruits in this year’s development training programme, which targeted unemployed school leavers between the ages of 16 and 22.
During Saturday’s graduation ceremony at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, BYS Director Hally Haynes reported that a number of students had already found employment, while a high percentage of the 2017 graduates were either about to sit Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) tests or were in pursuit of vocational studies at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology and the Barbados Vocational Training Board.
Haynes further reported that 64 out of 80 recruits had successfully completed the one-year programme with six having progressed fast enough to sit the May/June CXC examinations in Electronic Document Preparation and Management. Out of this group, four students received passing grades.
The BYS director also reported that 22 graduates, including 15 males and seven females, were registered to sit CXC subjects in the January 2018.
“We look forward to improving on last year’s [CXC performance] which saw a 67 per cent examination pass rate with several grade ones,” he added.
Haynes also noted that seven graduates were enrolled at the Samuel Jackman Institute of Technology pursuing certificates in Office Management, Animal Husbandry, Masonry and Catering. Others are studying for diplomas in Carpentry/Joinery and Masonry while two graduates are training for certificates in Auto Mechanics and Steel Bending at the Barbados Vocational Training Board.
During the 12-week residential section of the course, the recruits “were exposed to a multi-faceted training programme, which sought among other things to promote teamwork, discipline, respect for self and others, positive thinking, volunteerism and a sense of national pride and identity”.
The trainees also completed job attachments at private and public sector agencies with six graduates gaining full time employment as a result.
“In addition, extensions were granted to three [students],” he said.
During the one-year programme, the BYS recruits were also exposed to functional training in dance, drama and sports. The Barbados Defence Force also conducted the life skills exercises for the recruits who erected Christmas trees in the City for the Royal Commonwealth Society and assisted the Ministry of Culture back in August with the beautification of the Rock Hall Freedom Monument in preparation for CARIFESTA 2017.
They also assisted with the preparations for last month’s renaming of Westbury New Road to Rihanna Drive.