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Oct 5, 1998

Youths learn job survival skills

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The subject of jobs is one that is dear to the hearts of all of us. Politicians want to provide them, most people who don’t have one, want one, and those who are fortunate enough to have one, usually want a better one. But what does it take to get a job…and hold on ot it? This morning I joined a group of young people who were finding out.

The six week comprehensive course on Survival Skills Training is the result of a study conducted by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The research shows that over seventy percent of young Belizeans lack the proper skills needed, to make it in the work force There are sixteen young men and women benefitting from the workshop, five of whom are employed, while the remaining eleven are looking for jobs.

Margaret Burrowes, Lecturer, Survival Skills Training Course

“They want to enter the work force and they are limited in their skills, abilities, competences, in their proficiences that they should have developed to be a good person in the work force.”

Margaret Burrowes, who is the Secretary of BCCI’s board and Lecturer of the training workshop, says the participants are learning skills that will make them professionals especially in frontline positons like, Cashiers, receptionists, greeters and telephone operators.

Margaret Burrowes

“It’s a critical part of Belize right now, in that we are going towards a service oriented economy. We have to make sure that our people who are dealing with customers or tourists, with everybody who comes into our establishments in a professional way.”

The course, which has been ongoing since the middle of September, is the first for BCCI and its participants. According to thirty one year old Christine Cadle, a restaurant Supervisor at Radisson Fort George Hotel, because she is constantly in contact with the public, the discussion on public relations has been most helpful.

Christine Cadle, Restaurant Supervisor

“But now I am learning that I have to be more professional and learn to understand people more, cause there are difficult people and there are nice people and sometimes it is really hard to deal with difficult people and I learned now that it is getting easier.”

Rene Vargas, who is a gas attendant at One Stop Shell Service Station, knows just how frustrating it is when confronted with a troubled client. Vargas gave us an example as to how he tries to be professional under some sticky situations.

Rene Vargas, Gas Attendant

“Let suppose, hello, good morning sir, good morning ma’m, good morning madam, what do you want? And suppose I’m a customer that says,”look here, I no have no time for all of that, just serve me and let meget out of this place? Okay, I have been in that. Supposing a man or woman come tell me that, well I would take it patiently.”

But just as its important to know how to handle difficult customers, it is equally important for business persons to know how to greet their customers.

Desiree Usher

“When they are approached by people who come into the business, they do not treat the persons the way that they should, I mean, people skills, dealing with people, it’s not handle correctly in the business places.”

Hilda Simms, Attendant, Golden Haven Rest Home

“You have to do deal with people everyday and my job it helps me to be more supportive and understanding to the people’s needs more and be able to assist them in a more professional and understanding way, cause mostly they are old people and you have to have a lot of patience.”

And while we’re on the subject of patience, the public is asked to do its part as well, when you are served by someone who is obviously new to the job, try offering a few words of encouragement.

The course began on September fourteenth and runs through October thirty-first.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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