Banker notes value of mentorship
More mentorship programmes could help eliminate some of the challenges facing young people in Barbados and the rest of the region.
This was the suggestion of Ian DeSouza, managing director and chief executive officer of Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited, as he addressed the graduands of the bank’s 2012 to 2013 YouthLink Apprenticeship programme last Tuesday. The ceremony took place at the Island Inn Hotel.
The seven-month training programme, which has existed in Trinidad for the past 27 years, was introduced here in 2005. It was designed to help prepare school leavers between ages 16 and 19 for the world of work through different areas of training. Besides learning about ethics and code of conduct, the ten participants also had a few weeks of work experience at the financial institution.
DeSouza said introducing young people to such mentorship and training programmes could help steer them in the right direction.
“It is always the dream of the adult that the path travelled by the child would be less tortuous than their own. Programmes of this nature hardly exist today, far less when we were growing up,” he said.
“I firmly believe that if more of them were available to young people in Barbados and across the region several of the challenges currently being encountered by our youth would be eliminated,” said DeSouza.
He said while it was not the intention of the financial institution to make bankers of the young people, the bank wanted to have a positive impact on their lives in a way that would enable them to make “credible decisions about their future careers and to make worthwhile contributions to any organization with which they are involved”.
In his feature address Central Bank of Barbados Deputy Governor Cleviston Haynes said while he was aware of several organizations offering mentorship programmes for people coming out of secondary and tertiary institutions, he, too, would like to see more corporate entities developing similar programmes.
In addition, Haynes urged commercial banks to develop advisory services for small businesses so that they could help to “unlock the potential of the sector”. He said the Central Bank realized that access to funding was sometimes one of the impediments to the development and growth of small businesses. They needed the help, he added.
Following the speeches, the apprentices were presented with certificates and other awards. (MM)