Unemployment among young people in Barbados has been in the 30 per cent range for a few years now, so members of the Barbados Youth Service are being urged to make the most of the job placements they will receive as part of their training.
The advice came from Project Coordinator in the Ministry of Finance, Terry Bascombe, as he addressed Youth Service trainees at the start of a five-day seminar, entitled Working Together Today Towards a Productive Tomorrow.
In his address, Bascombe said, “Barbados’ overall unemployment rate is 11.4 per cent. Youth unemployment rates were 31 per cent in 2015 and stood at 36 per cent in 2018. Therefore, it is important that you make good use of any employment opportunities you receive through your job attachments and make sure you are appropriately trained in your chosen career to maintain job security.”
On that score, he advised them that it took more than academic qualifications to ensure success in the job market. “Don’t just focus on getting the qualifications; there are,”soft skills” that are equally important.” He noted: “Show courtesy to people even if you do not know them; always ensure you are properly attired for the event you are attending, and always be on your best manners because you do not know who, unknown to you, might be hearing you or listening to one of your conversations. Always be conscious of your environment.”
The seminar is taking place just prior to the annual CXC examinations and as students seek to enter the job market. Bascombe outlined what the students would be learning, “ your rights, and responsibilities in the workplace, National Insurance benefits, effective communication, customer service, work ethics and entrepreneurship… all important elements in the world of work.” He also cautioned them, ‘When you embark on your attachments, your willingness to work, display of ethics and so on will determine whether you retain your employment.” (DH)