Employers ought to partner with Government in providing internship opportunities for young people, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan today urged.
And he suggested a pool of interns could be found from those enrolled in the ministry’s Job Start Plus initiative, designed to provide 15 to 24-year-olds who are not in employment, education or training, with a year of first-time employment to gain work experience and to better position them for future jobs. .
Jordan said: “I want to call on employers in Barbados to recognise their responsibility to the young people of this country.
“And the employers of Barbados have to partner with Government.
“I think it is a moral responsibility, to partner with Government in providing opportunities for young people.
“What we are asking for today, and we have asked for this over the past few months, we are asking for placements for young people.”
Jordan’s appeal during the closing ceremony of the pilot training for Job Start Plus, the National First Job Initiative, in the lecture theatre of the Warrens Office Complex.
Besides job placements, the programme facilitates the development of young people through interventions, including mandatory world-of-work training to prepare young people for the work place, career counselling, citizen education and national service, psycho-social counselling, aptitude testing, literacy and numeracy skills training, and soft skills development training workshops that would be made optional to the participants based on their needs.
The Minister continued: “We want this programme to be at the level where we can accommodate all young people who after leaving educational institutions are unable to find work.
“Now I say that against the background of our belief that once the projects that are on the pipeline get going then the unemployment rate will decline.
“However, between now and then we do not want young people to be in a state of drift.
“We have a responsibility to you as a Government, corporate Barbados has a responsibility to the country and to you as residents and citizens.”
Jordan urged the 37 participants who successfully completed the pilot training to grasp their job placement opportunity with both hands whenever they receive it.
He told them that such chances are not as plentiful as many would want.
Jordan also warned those gathered to be on their best behaviour when they begin their internship and reminded them that other young people are hoping for a similar experience.