The Productivity Council has been receiving a ???good response??? to its annual New Entrants to the Workplace Summer Programme.

So far, approximately 130 people have been exposed to the training, which will sharpen their professional skills and teach them about basic productivity issues.

Word of this has come from Productivity Officer at The Council, Jannell Arthur, who disclosed that several persons outside the advertised age range had expressed an interest in participating in the workshops.

???We have had a number of special requests this year, particularly from persons exceeding the age limit. We try to cater to persons between the ages of 15 and 30, but we have had organisations saying that they have people who could benefit from the training, but are over 30. Additionally, we have individuals calling and saying, ???I would really love to come to this, but I am over 30???, and we have allowed them to participate,??? Ms. Arthur said. She added that several such persons in their 40???s and even 50???s have benefitted from the seminar.

Participants are learning about productivity concepts, how to develop good work ethics, effective communication, teamwork, cover-letter writing and curriculum vitae development, among other subjects. The training sessions, which are being held at The Council, Third Floor, Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael, will continue until Thursday, August 22, and interested persons should call 626-9416 to register.

Ms. Arthur pointed out that the participants had expressed great appreciation for the information. ???Some persons indicated that they had learnt a lot, including things that they never knew; while others added that it helped to reinforce areas they had already heard. The participants were particularly interested in the Cover Letter Writing and Interviewing Tips segments.

???We try to put everything in a very realistic context because the job market is currently very competitive. So, we are coming from the perspective that you need to be cognisant of certain things that would give you that edge. We try to arm them with as many tools and techniques as possible to help them market themselves as the most qualified candidate for any position they are seeking,??? she explained.

Some of the organisations that are participating in the Programme are the National Housing Corporation, the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Barbados Vocational Training Board, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the National Insurance Department, the Labour Department, secondary schools, the University of the West Indies (UWI), UWI???s Open Campus and the Barbados Community College.

Ms. Arthur noted that the Council???s Training and Development Unit has a year-round programme, where its officers go into secondary schools and also interact with youth organisations. She explained this was done to ensure that the young people develop good habits before they reach the workplace. ???We want to make sure that they understand what productivity means, and its importance to a nation like ours, which is low in natural resources and vulnerable to economic shocks like what we are currently experiencing,??? she stated.

The New Entrants to the Workplace Summer Programme was launched in 2008 and over 2,000 persons have been trained to date.

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