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Jun 23, 2017

Apprentices Receive Specialized Training for Employment

Approximately seventy-one young Belizeans were successfully engaged by RET International Belize, which provided them with employable and entrepreneurial skills.  The initiative is as a result of a partnership with the already established Youth Apprenticeship Program, coordinated by Dianne Finnegan. RET International Belize seeks to reduce the risk of youth engagement in criminal activities in Belize and build opportunities for youth leadership and resilience. Today, following a four-day training, the young men and women were ready to face the challenges of the workplace. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Over seventy participants of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture’s Youth Apprenticeship Program received training on employability over the past four days. The training, which was held at the ITVET, concluded today with an interview showcase and a certificate ceremony in which the participants were recognized for successfully completing the course that looked at leadership and communication skills among other techniques for them to use when in the workplace.

 

Malenie Barnes

Malenie Barnes, National Coordinator, RET International

“It is basically to give these young persons skills, the soft skills needed for them to be successful on the job. Putting aside qualifications and all of those certifications and papers, what is it that I need to be successful. I need to be able to problem-solve; I need to be able to be critical in my thinking; I need to be able to demonstrate good communication skills. So those are the things that we focus on at the same time trying to provide examples and guidelines for these young persons because we all know we are not normally rational people and if you are told something and you are not prepared, you can react in a certain way. So the whole idea is to prepare them so that when they go on the job places and they are faced with some of these issues they can be successful in addressing them.”

 

The participants are from all over the country, including young men and women from Belize City and Punta Gorda. They say that the training has prepared them for their venture into the workforce.

 

Mario Vernon

Mario Vernon, Participant, Punta Gorda

“This training has done a lot for me. It has taught me basic leadership skills and how to go about in your workplace and sexual harassment in your workplace and other basic stuff.”

 

Moira Baptist

Moira Baptist, Participant, Belize City

“Leadership because I believe that you have to stand out of the box cause you do have people that need some guidance and  they need a leader. So I think that the most important thing. I decided to take it because I think it is a very good thing and that you learn a lot from it that you can take out there and teach others.”

 

According to National Coordinator for RET International, Malenie Barnes, the organization works along with several governmental departments to carry out the three components of the project.

 

Malenie Barnes

“We have three components. One of them is the livelihoods which talks about employability and entrepreneurship. The other part that you are refereeing to is the quick impact projects which foster community engagement in young people and we worked with schools in Belize City as well as schools in Cayo. And the third component is leadership; helping these young people to become leaders. And often times we look at young people coming from a certain background and we write them off. But what RET International is doing is to tell them that you don’t have to conform to that; you can become leaders, you can become agents for social change in your community.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

RET International started back in October 2015 with support from the US Government’s Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) Program.

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