Thursday 14 November, 2019

Guidance Counsellor: Parents at a loss

Participants in the Summer Work Experience Program workshop.

Participants in the Summer Work Experience Program workshop.

Most parents are ill-equipped to provide their children with the skills needed to prepare for the world of work. This was the assessment given by Vice President of the Barbados Association of Guidance Counsellors, Shernell Belle-Alexander during an interview with the media.  

Belle-Alexander said it was for this reason, she believed yesterday's workshop, hosted by BIMAP and the BAGC, to prepare school leavers for the world of work was critical.  

The BAGC's annual Summer Work Experience program is a six-week internship which runs from mid-July to August and places students in jobs at various Ministries across government. 

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Belle-Alexander, a counsellor at the St. Leonard's School, said the association recognizes that both students and parents are at a loss as to the procedures to prepare for the workplace. The program, which has been running for over a decade, she said, adequately educates students on what is required.  

"The reality is if we don't do it, it is not going to be done. They are some persons who recognize the need to prepare students and you will get some parents who will push children toward that. But for the vast majority, the parents themselves do not even know where to begin." 

She said the program has been garnering great results over the years and there is always positive feedback from both the students in the program and the employers.  

"I find when they come, the feedback is always positive. At the beginning, how they start and then towards the end... the benefits are large. And the ones who leave to go into tertiary institutions, they are a lot more mature too in terms of handling responsibility and time management." 

She added, the goal of the program is for students to develop a proper attitude in the workplace and get a grasp of what is expected of them.  

This year's program involved a full day workshop for over 40 students at the BIMAP Institute in Wildey and focused on topics such as ethics and behaviour in the workplace, professional self-etiquette and handling conflicts in the workplace.  

 

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