October 21, 2020

Passport2Success helps gain skills

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Participants in the new Passport2Success programme for men are joined by at the ICCI building by course facilitators and Department of Education representatives. (Photo by G.I.S.)

Seventeen men between the ages of 21 and 40 began their passport2success programme, aimed at helping people gain the skills they need to find jobs.

Each of the men has to be unemployed in order to qualify for the programme.

The programme, which was first offered to school-leavers and other young people, has proved so successful that it is being extended to adults, and the women’s Passport2success programme is already in its fifth week.

The whole spectrum of skills, not only those needed for getting a job – such as tips for interviews and resume writing – but those necessary for ongoing success in the workplace are also taught during the programme.

Mrs Tasha Ebanks-Garcia from the Wellness Centre in George Town is helping to facilitate the course explained:  “The other part of the content is on life-skills development. We look at attitude, assertiveness verses aggression, conflict resolution skills, healthy relationships, stress management, and we have a series on responsibility and accountability. We also look at effective communication.”

Mrs Ebanks-Garcia stressed that it wasn’t a case of participants sitting down and taking notes while somebody lectured them: “Participants are actively involved in their learning, and we pre-plan each session to allow them to engage in the learning process. We have discussions and activities, and they do lots of role playing in different scenarios – its very practical, very hands-on.

“They also make presentations using Powerpoint, and  many of them haven’t used Powerpoint before, or they can use Publisher so that they’re making a little news letter to convey information,” Mrs Ebanks-Garcia added.

In addition to the regular course instructors, experts from different industries are invited into the classroom to lead seminars with the students, Mrs. Ebanks Garcia said.

The course is divided into two main parts, with the first four weeks taking place in the classroom: “During the first four weeks we get a feeling of what their interests are in terms of pursuing a career or skills development,” Mrs Ebanks-Garcia said.

The remainder of the course consists of two days a week in the classroom, and three in the workplace.

“We have a number of companies that have worked with us in the past, who offer participants internships. We’ve got around 40 companies that work with us and we are actively seeking additional support from the business community to provide more placements,” Mrs Ebanks-Garcia added.

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