Sixteen Linden youth between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four received certificates on June 3rd after completing four weeks of ‘Work Ready Now’ training under the USAID Skills and Knowledge for Youth Employment (SKYE) Project.
The Work Ready Now curriculum is intended to provide at-risk young Guyanese with skills and knowledge to find long-term, meaningful, satisfying and remunerative jobs.
During the exercise, which was held at the Linden Constabulary Hall, Valarie Adams-Patterson, in a brief address, commended the graduands for participating in the programme. She also encouraged them to build on the foundation they have gained from the project.
Adams-Patterson, who is the General Manager and Board Member of the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN), exhorted the young participants to maintain focus on achieving their ambition and in so doing they ought not to be afraid to ask for help since in so doing, they would be exercising wisdom.
Noting that participating in and graduating from the project is a stepping stone for greater achievement in life, Adams-Patterson told the graduands: “Taking responsibility is another aspect of your development.”
According to her, SKYE has brought them to a point but it is left to them to determine whether they will stay there, or pursue upward mobility. According to her, the ladder of success is not crowned at the top but at the bottom. She further stated that the difference between ordinary and extra ordinary “is the little extra”.
The graduation exercise also featured remarks by Horace James, CEO Linmine Secretariat and James Bjorkman, Political/Economic Section Chief, US Embassy, who disclosed that he came to Guyana a month ago and was visiting Linden for the first time.
The US Embassy official said the programme was aimed at equipping participants with the right attitude, including maintaining a healthy and safe workplace as well as imparting in them good work habits, proper interpersonal and leadership skills along with the ability to work as part of a team.
The event also included a vocal rendition by one of the graduands, Madonna Samuels, as well as a skit that involved team work in the form of individual role play. There was also a video presentation on aspects of the training programme.
According to Magda Fiona Wills, Chief of Party (CoP) of SKYE, the USAID Project commenced in September 2011 in four Regions: 4,6,9 and 10. She said Region Nine is no longer in the programme, which has incorporated two other Regions – 3 and 5.
The SKYE Chief of Party also disclosed that the programme was initially intended to run until August 2015 but it is hoped that it will be extended to September 2016.