by: Curtis Williams
Anna-María García-Brooks, General Manager, Group Human Resources, Republic Bank advised recent graduates of the Youth Link Apprenticeship Programme to embrace all of life’s opportunities, even those which are challenging.
This, she added, was key in building a better society.
She was speaking at the 33rd graduating ceremony of the programme recently held at the bank’s head office at Park Street, Port-of -Spain.
Since its inception in 1986, the programme has helped hundreds of young people bridge the gap between secondary school and the world of work by providing them with valuable work experience and opportunities for personal and professional development.
This year, 40 secondary school graduates between the ages of 16 to 19 participated in the programme.
Over a seven-month period, they were assigned to various branches across the bank’s network and were engaged in a range of courses including office procedures, personal development, banking operations, customer service and financial literacy.
García-Brooks who also advised the graduates to recognise that their decisions and actions control their destiny added, “Every decision is an opportunity to embrace change, to set a new path.”
Thanking the bank for embracing youths and providing invaluable training, valedictorians, Jeremiah Gibbs-Clarke and Arielle Forde, said they were confident about what lies in store regarding the world of work.
Gibbs-Clarke and Forde were joined by three other special awardees who were recognised for excelling in different areas of the programme.
Shania Peters was given the award for Best Business Plan, Jo Anndra Ottley was acknowledged as the Most Improved apprentice and Jervon Jack was recognised for being the Most Outstanding apprentice overall.
Republic Bank’s Executive Director Derwin Howell who also commended the graduates for their hard work and dedication noted, “Youth Link is about so much more than building work experience.
“It’s also about building individuals. Not just any individuals, but individuals who will one day be leaders of our society.”