Youth in the A Ganar programme completed Phase Two of training in Basic Cookery and Food and Beverage Services, last weekend, by displaying and serving meals which they prepared at the Hotel PomMarine, to select patrons.

The aim was to give guests a first-class restaurant experience of the roles they undertook while at the Hospitality Institute of the Barbados Community College (BCC).

A Ganar Programme Coordinator Assistant, Asha Farrell, explaining that they were wrapping up 180 hours of technical training, said the students were enrolled in a course of their choice, whether food and beverage services or catering services, offered by the PomMarine.

While pointing out that the cohort still had two more weeks, she said they would be industry tours to provide a better feel ???for what is going on in the industry and what it takes to be part of the service industry in Barbados, whether it be in another hotel, restaurant or bar???.

Ms. Farrell who noted that majority of the A Ganar students were showing interest in the area of hospitality, said it was for this reason they continued to develop and expand it. She added that the youth would be certified in the various courses before moving on to Phase Three that would see them gaining internships for about 80 hours.

Stating that this was the first year for the hospitality programme at Hotel PomMarine, she said last year several youth were trained to set the table and perform other hospitality functions, at Benskin???s Hospitality Institute, Prospect St. James.

As the students enter the internship part of the programme, Ms. Farrell wants other hospitality organisations to embrace the initiative in much the same manner as PomMarine.

???We would like both private and governmental organisations to embrace the initiative. Our students want to do something positive with their lives, and we are asking hospitality organisations to give of their time. Monitor or assist with internships for our students ??? the basic requirement is 80 hours. We want them to have a real feel for the world of work,??? she urged.

Along with the BCC, management and staff at PomMarine, the National Initiative for Service Excellence, the Education Ministry, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), as well as Partners of the Americas, all came in for praise for ???making the training possible for the students???.

Meanwhile, Director at PomMarine, Bernice Crichlow-Earle commending A Ganar, stressed the importance of it and noted that despite a few hiccups and hurdles, it had ???gone pretty well???. ???Students had a number of similar exercises where they came into contact with real customers, and they have been handling it extremely well,??? she remarked.

A Ganar forms part of component 2 of the US $20 Million Government of Barbados/IDB Skills For The Future Program, being executed by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation. Developed by the Multi-lateral Investment Fund of the IDB, it has, thus far, been implemented in about 17 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The A Ganar pilot programme, which began here in 2013, is a youth workforce development programme which is being coordinated by the Partners of America, Washington DC and Barbados??? Country Coordinator, Ytannia Wiggins.??The programme uses sports for development as a tool to educate and employ at-risk youth; its key aim is to increase the employability of young people and better prepare them to enter the world of work.

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