The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, through its collaboration with the Prince’s Trust International Get Hired programme, hosted its first all-male session this morning.
The session, held in the training room at Sky Mall, hosted 16 males aged 18 to 25 and provided the opportunity for them to be hired by Platinum Services Limited for positions as Sky Cap Porters also known as “Red Caps”.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment Dwight Sutherland said that he was elated to be a part of the first all-male session and to be given the opportunity to encourage and advise young men on how to pursue a career and become global citizens.
Pointing out that unemployment was an issue Government could not tackle on its own, Mr. Sutherland added: “The Ministry has partnered with other public, private and third sector entities to deliver this Get Hired Model of engagement to benefit young persons and employers alike. Through the Get Hired Employability initiative, my Ministry has been able to adopt a new mechanism, where it has prepared and introduced over 300 young persons to several employers across diverse sectors.”
He reported that the size of engagement for the programme had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to date, since its inception in 2019, the employability programme had assisted 174 young persons in gaining permanent employment and 56 in temporary or seasonal employment in areas such as: retail, logistics, hospitality, financial services, and the health sector.
The Minister noted that next year, his ministry aims to “ramp up” the programme to assist more young persons in gaining employment.
“I shall continue to direct a great level of attention towards forging additional alliances within the private sector in an effort to increase our capacity to support youth employment and support the provision of additional resources to expand this very critical programme…. I send an appeal to the private sector through the Chamber of Commerce for more employers to partner with this ministry, to give our young people the opportunity to become employable,” he stated.
In addressing the participants, the Youth Minister advised them to utilise various web pages and social media platforms to learn more about the businesses or sectors in which they may have an interest in working, in order to make themselves “fit for purpose”.
He also recommended that they stay away from deviant behaviours and activities, and advised them to be careful about how they presented themselves on social media platforms.
Chief Executive Officer of Platinum Services Limited, Shelly Williams also told participants that a “Red Cap is not an employee; he is an entrepreneur”.
She added: “You are the second person everybody that enters Barbados meets; so you carry a very heavy weight on your shoulders. You are service ambassadors and you need to understand that is what we expect of you. To carry yourself with pride; be honest; be disciplined; and to conduct yourself in a manner in which anyone can be proud of saying, ‘I’ve travelled to Barbados’.”
Describing his job, Sky Cap Porter, Zico Phillips told participants that it not only involved getting bags and taking them out, but also making persons feel welcomed and comfortable.
He advised them to be able to “flip-the-script” when dealing with an ‘irritable’ passenger, so that by the time they had finished their task, persons were happy and ready to experience all that Barbados had to offer.
Persons interested in participating in a future Get Hired session, are asked to email email@example.com, or telephone Programme Coordinator, Elizabeth Bowen, at 535-3863.