Seventy-two young people were presented with Job Ready certificates during a ceremony on Monday, May 31, by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Iram Lewis and St. Paul’s Methodist Church Hall. The group, who started the program seven weeks ago, hailed from East End to West End and many left the program gainfully employed.
During his remarks to the participants, Minister Lewis noted that despite the difficulties the island and the world has been through due to the pandemic, the class has persevered and as such, they are now equipped to work in the new norm and excel not only locally but abroad.
He said that the participants represent the best of the young people today. “Far too often the narrative of our young people today is negative. I am proud to say these young people show us the positive, the great potential for the future.” Minister Lewis added that parents and family members ought to be proud of these young people who give hope for a brighter tomorrow.
“In The Bahamas typically the youth are presented with a variety of social issues, crime, poverty and a varied of social inequalities. My Ministry understands the importance of our youth overcoming these issues on the road to a successful life. Therefore, we provide opportunities for youth from all walks of life to realign themselves and get on the right track through our soft skills development and on the job training.”
The program, described as diversified and blended, hosted virtual and in person sessions to recent high school graduates and college students.
“I have always believed investment in young people is security for the future.” While addressing the corporate sponsors, the Minister thanked them for their continued support, particularly during this difficult time. He encouraged parents and relatives to continue encouraging the young people, adding that they would not be there without them. To the graduates, he said, “You have survived a global pandemic, the worst hurricane in 50 years, government lockdowns, school closures and an economic downturn in Grand Bahama and you are still here. Whether you realize it or not, you are overcomers.”