PRESS RELEASE – Sandals has joined hands with ‘The School Of Business Entrepreneurs’ (TSOBE) to host some 30 unemployed youth as part of a business training programme designed to stimulate and encourage entrepreneurs and free-enterprise thinking.
The initiative, dubbed START (Start Today Attain Results Tomorrow) began on Tuesday and closed on Thursday.
According to Janelle Sealy, project manager at TSOBE, the programme targets people 18 to 30 years old, primarily from the Castries vicinity. This age range has been proven to be the most vulnerable yet promising in our society.
Aside from birthing an entrepreneurial mindset, the programme also sought to develop a greater appreciation for the power of technology and the benefits and expectations of the hospitality industry.
The project featured a formal closing ceremony, which saw six presentations from the respective groups created as part of the exercise.
START also sought to emphasise the importance of the required standard in service, duty and deportment for business organisations. This aim was materialised in a practical training method.
Founder of TSOBE Dr. Timothy Robinson said the programme came about in response to the increase in the nation’s unemployment rate, the grave economic down turn and the effect it continues to have on so many young people.
“Statistics in our society continue to prove a regular incline in the unemployment rate, lack of professionalism, ambition and zeal for progress,” Dr. Robinson said, adding that initiatives such as these will also serve to boost the morale and expand the independent thinking of the younger generation.
He cited statistics that suggest a vast amount of young people graduate from secondary or tertiary institutions are unprepared but still excited about entering the business world.
“They experience the demotivating awakening of the lack of jobs and the few who do get jobs do not possess the skills to compete and succeed. This growing issue has led many to remain pessimistic, distasteful and stagnant,” Dr. Robinson said.
Regional Public Relations for Sandals Resorts International – Eastern Caribbean, Dominic Fedee, was on hand to witness the final engagement session for the participants.
He said Sandals was proud to be a part of such an initiative, with training and overall human resource development in Saint Lucia and across the Caribbean was and will always remain paramount in the focus of the company.
“We are honoured to be associated with this venture. It champions the need for us to continuously invest in the youth and encourage them to think independently and outside of the box. It also allows them to create and explore their own niche markets and ultimately creating employment for themselves and their peers,” Fedee said.
Training and guidance for the young entrepreneurs will continue beyond Thursday through continuous consultations and guidance at the request of the students.