Twenty-nine young people graduated on Friday from Republic Bank Limited’s (RBL) Youth Apprentice-ship programme 2013/ 2014, which seeks to facilitate a successful transition from school into the work environment.
The ceremony, held at the Savanah Suite, Pegasus Hotel, marked the 6th anniversary of the programme which also seeks to achieve the bank’s vision of building successful societies, and making a difference by playing an integral role in national development. The programme also falls under the bank’s social investment initiative – the Power to Make a Difference – where community projects and initiatives are undertaken, with an overarching aim to improve lives, foster dreams, positively shape circumstances, hone potential and reward excellence.
RBL’s Managing Director John Alves, in his remarks, reflected on the six years of the programme and lauded his company’s contribution to society since a total of 150 persons have benefited from the programme to date. He elaborated on how it facilitates the smooth transition from secondary school to the world of work. He described the programme as affording secondary school graduates the opportunity to experience the working world in a nurturing, safe and professional environment. He said the programme allows for the bank to impart relevant skills and training that should bring about a new level of awareness, knowledge, etiquette and confidence that grounds each apprentice and prepares them to be strong career individuals, whatever their pursuits. What was important to the bank was that each person leaves the programme, a balanced professional, Alves said.
Expressing congratulations to the graduates, a delighted Alves, commended the teachers, who recommended them and the parents and guardians who supported them.
He told the graduates: “… I want you to view this graduation, not as the end of a journey but the exciting beginning of a new journey, rich with possibilities.” He went on to quote Arie Pencovici: “Gradua-tion is only a concept. In real life, every day you graduate. Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference.”
Valedictorian Hercules Ramphal expressed gratitude to a long list of individuals including the managers, supervisors, co-workers and the bank itself. He reflected on the experiences including a special Baganara trip, a community outreach styled Care-A-Van directed towards caregiving of children at the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre and a first aid session at the Red-Cross Society. He encouraged his colleagues to never stop trying to better themselves.
Minister within the Ministry of Finance Juan Edghill in delivering the feature address, first congratulated the graduating apprenticeships and declared his expectation of many greater things from them. He then congratulated Republic Bank Limited for continuing the very beneficial programme.
He urged the graduates not to settle for mediocrity but rather to aim for excellence, to maintain their integrity, a right attitude and think big.
Special awards were presented under 6 categories to those who excelled during the course of the apprenticeship. Ramphal received three awards, for Most Disci-plined Apprentice, Most Congenial Apprentice and Best All Rounder. Malisa Winter received the award for Most Improved Ap-prentice, Harilal Ramgobin received the award for Most Effective Presenta-tion and finally Oyana Drakes received the award for Best Business Proposal. The apprentices were tasked with preparing a business proposal to be presented to a panel of judges on a topic of their choice. They had the following three topics to choose from: Anti-money laundering policies and financial institutions, Coaching and Mentoring in the work place and Abuse.
The ceremony was chaired by Anita Mohabeer, Manager of Human Resources and included a video presentation of the apprentices’ 7-month journey.
Some of the graduates will be offered employment at RBL, while others will be offered employment elsewhere as a representative of the bank said “the other banks snatch these ones up quickly” while others may pursue further studies.