School leavers seen as negative performers

Marlon Madden,

Added 09 November 2012

kimtudor2

Barbadian employers are generally not satisfied with the level of performance of secondary school leavers entering entry-level jobs. Human resource practitioners from a cross-section of the workforce have identified  a number of common inadequacies and bad habits that have  resulted in their labelling school leavers as “negative performers”. This is according to  a National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE) survey carried  out in 2006, Evaluation Of The Readiness Of School Leavers For Entry To The World  Of Work. It also identified what employers were looking  for in school leavers. BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY obtained a copy of the survey, which showed that 64 per cent of human resources personnel indicated that school leavers were generally not equipped with the work skills and abilities to perform entry-level jobs, 21 per cent said they were prepared, while 14 per cent did not  give a response. Eighty-six per cent of human resource  professionals felt that  the secondary school curriculum needed to include work-related training, while 14  per cent did not. Fifty-seven per cent  of respondents said  they were dissatisfied  with school leavers’ handling of time on  the job while only seven per cent said they were satisfied. The other  36 per cent were neutral. Sixty-two per cent said they were not satisfied with their listening skills and only seven per cent were satisfied with their writing skills, 29 per cent dissatisfied and 14 per cent very dissatisfied. The research also showed that 71 per cent  of human resources professionals said they hired secondary school leavers while 29 per cent admitted to not hiring them. The main reasons for not hiring the young people: lack of experience and no vacancies. NISE chief executive  officer Kim Tudor presented the findings  or the first time during  the official launch of Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited’s Youth Link Apprenticeship programme, at the  Grand Salle of the  Tom Adams Financial Centre Wednesday night. She said employers identified low self-esteem, lack of discipline, poor work ethic and listening skills, unrealistic expectations, lack of  pride in work and interest in their job, and inability to effectively communicate among the deficiencies in many of the island’s secondary school leavers entering the world of work. “Negative performers are content to [stay] at the level at which  they started. “People who do not grow and develop any further, those are  what we call  negative performers. “Other areas included owning responsibility  for your own task,  giving up in the face  of obstacles, and not demonstrating a sense  of perseverance,” she said. “Employers don’t  like to see people who  give up – they also don’t like to see people [with]  a narrow focus,” added Tudor. She advised the group of young people involved in the bank’s programme to “desist” from those things and refrain  from giving anyone  the opportunity to  label them as negative performers, adding  that they had choices  and should make  positive ones. (MM)

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