BYAC Trainees boarding the bus to the Ruby, St Philip base. (Photo: Division of Youth Affairs)

A total of 93 trainees, 63 young men and 30 young women, boarded buses at the Barbados YouthADVANCE Corps’ (BYAC) headquarters, Warrens, St. Michael, on Sunday, January 23, and headed for their nine-week residential home at Ruby, St. Philip.

The residential camp segment is part of the two-year inter-disciplinary vocational BYAC training programme. This is the fourth intake for the Barbados YouthADVANCE Corps since its introduction in 2018. 

Cohort four commenced its two-year programme virtually in October 2021, with the introduction of a personal and life skills programme. Topics included: Teamwork Skills, Career Choices, Physical Training, Healthy Lifestyle and Cultural Arts. Counselling and disciplinary components were also delivered virtually. 

The nine-week residential programme will build on component one, further exposing participants to safe face-to-face engagement in citizenship and civic education, arts and craft, sports, disciplinary training, personal development and performing arts.

In observing the COVID-19 protocols, trainee arrivals at the Warrens headquarters were staggered throughout the day, significantly reducing the number of trainees and parents gathering at one time. 

Some tearful goodbyes were seen as best wishes and encouraging words were shared by parents and guardians, with some noting that this was the first experience of being separated from their children.

Following the residential training, participants will move into the technical and vocational educational phase, before entering the final employability phase, which focuses on ensuring that trainees gain essential work experience before graduating. 

Past participants of the programme have successfully completed the education, technical and vocational phase, with many celebrating successes in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) as well as certificates in Electrical Wiring, Entrepreneurship, Interior Design, Agripreneurship, Culinary Arts, Animation and more.

All training is delivered in collaboration with accredited institutions and established agencies across Barbados. 

Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment

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