After spending their first few months in the working world, 29 persons last Friday graduated from Republic Bank’s Youth Link Apprenticeship Programme 2012-2013.
The 29 apprentices along with Labour Minister Dr Nanda Gopaul, Republic Bank Managing Director John Alves and other executives at the graduation
This is the bank’s fifth batch of apprentices. The programme commenced in October last year and concluded with the graduation ceremony on Friday. Over the seven months, the apprentices had the opportunity to gain insight into the world of work. They were assigned to the bank’s various branches and benefited from professional development in office procedures, personal development, banking operations, customer service, and computing.
In addition, they were exposed to caregiving, assisting the children from the Red Cross Children’s Convalescent Home and also underwent first aid training at the Red Cross Society. They were treated to a fun day as well, complete with a guided tour along the Essequibo River with stops at Fort Island, Bartica, and the Baganara Island Resort.
Republic Bank Managing Director John Alves said the bank is sending off its fifth batch of apprentices with a sense of deep satisfaction, of successfully completing another stint of the Youth Link Apprenticeship Programme. He said that the programme forms an integral part of the bank’s community investment initiative by affording secondary school graduates the opportunity to experience the world of work in a nurturing, safe, and professional environment.
“It is our objective through this programme to mould and guide a group of Guyana’s youth for future career options, with a view to supporting national professional development. As such, we have sought to equip the apprentices with the necessary skills, level of awareness, knowledge, and etiquette to propel their career in a positive direction,” the managing director said.
Alves urged the apprentices to always strive for excellence and to stay the course of “professionalism, dedication, and integrity”, noting that those values will be beneficial to them, both professionally and personally.
He went on to say “while one part of your journey ends here today, there are many more experiences and challenges to discover. As you continue in your life’s pursuits, we encourage you to remain focused on your goals, work hard, maximise every opportunity afforded you, and remain committed.”
The bank’s managing director concluded with a quote from Vince Lombardi, “individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilisation work”.
In delivering the feature address, Labour Minister Dr Nanda Gopaul commended Republic Bank for its excellent work on the apprenticeship programme, which is aptly structured to bridge the gap between school life and the work environment. He said this is an initiative the government fully supports and encourages.
He told the batch that they should utilise their training well and understand various facets of banking, since the banking industry is vast in Guyana. The minister said that the programme was a mere stepping stone for the apprentices and was not the end but the beginning of training they would be given in the world of work.
Gopaul also urged them not to migrate, since Guyana has a bright future for young men and women, noting that the government has placed emphasis on training and has allotted some $224 million for the development of school dropouts.
During the graduation ceremony, attendees were treated to steel pan renditions and shown a video of activities undertaken by the batch over the past seven months. The bank also awarded several apprentices for their outstanding performances.
The Most Improved Apprentice Award was given to Rowllon Wright, the Most Effective Presentation Award was copped by Kerian Allen, while Kemo Paul walked away with the awards for the Best Business Proposal and Most Disciplined Apprentice.
Nicola John was adjudged the Best All Rounder and was also chosen as the valedictorian for her batch. In a statement, John thanked the bank, on behalf of her fellow apprentices, for the opportunity and the experiences of the trip to Essequibo.
She said that while there were trying days, there were often very good and memorable ones, adding that the seven months were the best months of their lives.