Developing and inculcating appropriate standards of behaviours and positive work ethics should start from as early as childhood, when children “are still pliable”.
This view was shared last Friday by Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Labour and Social Partnership Relations, Alyson Forte, during the G.I.V.E. School’s Competition Award Ceremony, at Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael.
Stressing that instilling proper work habits and a good attitude in children would benefit them in every facet of their lives, he said: “We are well aware that young people are a vital part of our nation and their success is dependent on how they plan for their future.”
PS Forte added: “They are not merely the next generation and must wait their turn. They are very much a part of this present generation. Failure to recognize this could well result in a loss of their most productive years. They are increasingly lobbying to have their voices heard, and will be the drivers of innovations, particularly in the development and use of artificial intelligence.”
The senior official also told students that the world of work was a very competitive environment and would become more competitive as there was a demand for highly trained and educated people.
He stressed: “Therefore, it is imperative that young people arm themselves with the necessary tools and skills for success in whatever path or career they choose. Students who exhibit the right attitude and appropriate standards of behaviour are the ones most likely to succeed.
“In this regard, the ministry will continue to work with the schools in providing workshops and programmes, to ensure that the message is communicated to our children.”
G.I.V.E. is an acronym for Great Attitude, Initiative, Values and Excellence. It was initiated in 2004 by the ministry to improve employer and employee attitudes in the public sector, and to promote standards of appropriate behaviours in the work place.
The G.I.V.E. Schools Competition, a pilot project, therefore aimed to capture the attention of students and expose them to the principles of the G.I.V.E., which include attitude, attendance and absenteeism, honesty and integrity, dress and appearance, communication and customer service.
The pilot, which comprised a poster competition for primary and secondary schools, was said to be well-received by students.
Coordinator of the G.I.V.E. School Competition, Veronica Cox, in commending the students and schools on their enthusiasm, echoed similar sentiments as the PS, noting: “The Ministry of Labour, which is the champion of the G.I.V.E. programme, felt that good behaviours would assist them not only through primary, secondary and tertiary [institutions], but into adulthood, where they would be launching into the world of work, pursuing their career, or even trying to get that prized job.”
Meanwhile, head judge of the students’ work, Alex Carrington, noted it pleased the judging panel, in terms of quality and clarity of the messages.
“The ideas and messages were all very encouraging, and we were quite pleased in that regard because it is not just about how we may view our young ones coming up, but how they may view themselves and us as adults in the working world, especially as parents, because they are looking up to you each and every day; as teachers and principals they are looking up to you for examples.
“And, the fact that they are looking at you and then taking it all in and being able to produce such good work says a lot, especially right now, in a time where we are very concerned about the future of our country,” he said, adding that they were all winners, and should be encouraged in the creative field.