As some 200 college students were preparing to be dispatched to various companies and business houses in Grand Bahama, to take part in the government’s Summer Youth Employment Programme, Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister, Senator Kwasi Thompson offered them some practical advice on how to make a lasting impression on the owners and managers of those companies.
During the launch of the programme on Friday, June 22, at Calvary Temple Church, Minister Thompson encouraged the college students to always remember that the opportunity they are getting is a privilege.
“There are hundreds of kids out there who wish they could be sitting where you are seated right now,” Thompson told the students, before they were given their respective job assignments.
“You have been chosen. Make no mistake about it – there have been many people who have applied for this opportunity. There have been over 1,500 applicants in Grand Bahama. Out of that number you are the 200 college students who have been chosen to be in this year’s Summer Youth Employment Programme.
“We anticipate that we should also be able to accommodate another three to four hundred students, who will be taking part in the high school version of the summer job programme.”
Thompson warned the new employees to show up for work and to do so on time. He said while the admonition may seem simple and even somewhat frivolous, he noted that there are many people who are hired for jobs, but who hardly show up and sometimes when they do show up, they refuse to work.
“One of the things you are obligated to do is just show up and be on time,” he said.
“In fact, be early. If you are expected to be there nine in the morning, be there at eight-thirty. It will make a huge difference in the eyes of the employer if he meets you on the job.
“Also, be willing to work late. Don’t be one of those people who, when a quarter to five comes, you are already packing up. Take a cue from your employer or your supervisor and try not to leave before them. Work hard, do the job well, and don’t spend most of your time on your cell phone.
“And finally, remember to have manners. Manners and respect will still take you around the world. Remember, those same people who you are going to work for now in this summer programme may be the same people some of you may have to go back to see for a job when you come out of college, so leave a good impression.”
Minister Thompson reminded the students that the summer job programme was an opportunity that was afforded them by the Bahamas Government. This, he said, is evidence that the government is indeed interested in the lives of the country’s young people.
“Do not listen to the noise in the market, because the evidence is in this room today,” he said.
“As much as people will say that governments don’t care about certain things, today is evidence of what we do care about and each one of you here today is what we care about.
“You have been provided this opportunity as a result of the government’s initiative to ensure that our young people are trained, that they receive opportunity and that they are helped.”
Thompson told the college students that there are some good things taking place in Grand Bahama of which they can take advantage as young people. He told them of the programme at Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), which will allow Bahamian students to enroll for free.
He encouraged them to go online and take a look at the degree programmes available at BTVI and see where they can take advantage of this opportunity to earn a degree. Minister Thompson also told the students that such an opportunity is also open to them at the University of The Bahamas, which will be free to Bahamian students. This offer will become available to young Bahamians as of next year.
As far as opportunities in Freeport are concerned, Thompson encouraged the students to prepare themselves for the job opportunities that are coming on stream in Grand Bahama. He told them about the Grand Bahama Bay Resort Development that is expected to take place in West End.
“We are well on our way to making Freeport the Tech Hub of the Region, so that will mean even more opportunities coming on stream for you young people,” he said.
“There are companies like GIBC Digital opening their doors here in Grand Bahama and they have already begun hiring Grand Bahamians.
“So, don’t let anyone tell you that there are no opportunities out there for Bahamians.
“The reality is that we want to give you opportunities, we want to see you succeed and we want to make it easy for you to succeed because when you succeed, we succeed.”
This article was written by ANDREW COAKLEY, Bahamas Information Services.