Over 200 students are now better equipped to enter the workforce, thanks to the World of Work (WoW) Internship Programme.
Sponsored by the Ministry of Labour under its Human Resource Development Strategy, the programme targets students from secondary schools, the University of the West Indies, and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, as well as persons with special needs.
Persons are divided into small groups, with each being guided through a two-day workshop hosted by the Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) and facilitated by Profiles Caribbean Inc.
Each workshop will be held at the BCCI’s headquarters, 2 Braemar Court, Deighton Road, St. Michael, and will focus on developing skills such as Business Etiquette, CV writing, and Communication.
Executive Director of the BCCI, Lisa Gale, said the internship programme was conceptualised in order to address the issue of students leaving schools without adequate work preparation and awareness.
“We thought of this as a way to improve the abilities and capabilities of the students, not particularly in the technical fields but focus on how they should present themselves at work,” she explained.
Ms. Gale continued: “We would hope that the Guidance Counsellors within various schools see the importance of the programme because this is only the second iteration but we intend to continue with it every year.”
Chief Executive Officer of Profiles Caribbean, Peter Downes, highlighted the need for more employers to offer internships. “We are not restricting these internships to office environments. If students are interested in manufacturing or agriculture, we are seeking the employers’ assistance in having these students join them for a period of time.
“In terms of how long it would be, it really depends on the employers and what’s available. The intent is for the students to get some exposure and for the employer to see the students at work and if they are a good fit they can consider them for employment,” he suggested.
The Human Resource Development Strategy is an initiative of the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, and is being supported through grants from the European Union.