|Apprentice program offers experience of a lifetime|
|Thursday, 11 November 2010 08:36|
Sixteen-year-old Brentino Harvey spends his Tuesdays getting drinks and towels for guests of the Veranda Resort on Grace Bay.
It’s not the usual school day, but for Brentino this is the experience of a lifetime.
Four 4th form students from the Clement Howell High School are participating in the apprenticeship program at the Veranda Resort. The students spend one day of the school week at the resort learning practical skills which will prepare them for a future in the hospitality industry.
Seventeen students are participating in the Clement Howell High School Alternative program, gathering practical experience by working at various places across the island.
“This is a program we started several years ago through the Ministry and Department of Education,” said Dr. Carlton Mills, manager for Talent Growth and Local Affairs at Veranda.
The students are selected for the program based on their GSAT performance. The program has been designed to develop skills and offer work experience to students who have experienced academic challenges. The students are placed with a company based on their personal interest shown for a particular industry.
On only their third week on the job, the boys told the fp they look forward to coming each Tuesday. “Some days I wish I could come here instead of school,” said Frandy Merone. The three say they have learned a great deal already.
Brentino says the job has taught him how to speak to people, specifically the tourists who he has never had the opportunity to interact with before. “Getting to know these people is important for our future,” he said.
Brentino, Frandy and Franzo will each have the chance to rotate through three back of the house departments, learning the ins and outs of a resort. Mills says most kids want to work in front of house, like the front desk, but it is important they understand how the whole resort works.
“We want them to develop a sense of appreciation for how important each and every job is, including the back of house,” he said.
Brentino, who aspires to run his own restaurant some day, said he is grateful for the experience and he wants to work hard so he can learn as much as possible.
“I think this will help a lot to get a job in the future,” Franzo said. Each expressed their understanding of how importance this experience is for them when trying to get a job in the future. “They will give us a letter that says if we did well or not, and that can help us get a job when we finish school,” Franzo said.
“It is most important to be good to the guests or they won’t come back, and that is important for the development of the country,” Brentino said.
Mills says it is this sort of self confidence he is hoping the program will inspire in the youth.
“We are using this opportunity to make them feel a sense of achievement and to further enhance their self-image and self awareness,” Mills said.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 11 November 2010 08:41|
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