Labour Minister Urges School Leavers To Focus On More Than Money

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Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour, Senator Arni Walters, has expressed concern about the attitudes of some young schools leavers, who have very unrealistic expectations when they enter the world of work.

He was speaking at the National Initiative for Service Excellence’s (NISE) book launch of a book publication entitled: "Off to a Good Start: Your Guide to the World of Work," this morning at Hilton Barbados.

Senator Walters said some young Barbadians were too focused on the financial aspect of employment, without due care or attention to the long-term benefits.

"Young people start out very concerned with the salary they are to be paid and going into interviews with potential employers or human resource managers setting out the conditions under which they can work. They are not going in trying to find out the workplace culture and to acclimatise, rather, from the interview stage, they are seeking to state their terms," he observed.

The Labour Minister lamented that in today’s brand-name culture, many young school leavers scoff at some of the salaries and wages which they are offered.

Citing his own experience, Senator Walters revealed that his first job was at the Ministry of Public Works, where he was employed for $120 dollars a month.

He told the audience, which consisted of young employees, that no one owed them a living and it was up to them to gather the requisite skills to build on the company’s vision and to contribute to its overall success.

Meanwhile, Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones who was in attendance gave his endorsement to the publication, stressing that it was a step in the right direction.

He encouraged parents, educators and guardians to return to the basics and teach young persons about the benefits of having good manners and delivering proper service.

In this regard, Minister Jones said his Ministry would play its part and through the schools, would seek to inculcate proper values and ethics into young Barbadians.

He also offered to "sit down" with NISE officials to discuss ways in which the book could be properly used within the schools.

In addition, Minister Jones suggested the introduction of a NISE certification for young employees who exemplify the ideals which are highlighted in the publication.

The book, seeks to educate school leavers about certain principles as they enter the world of work. It focuses on areas such as social and workplace etiquette, customer service, managing time and finances, and starting a business, among others.

askeete@barbados.gov.bb

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