LIME is giving eight youths the opportunity to benefit from real-life work experience by becoming part of the LIME family via the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) Apprenticeship and Skills Training for Employment Initiative.This initiative is designed to expose some 1,600 young people to training and employment opportunities in the hotel and tourism sector, as well as other industries.
The programme is jointly funded by the SLHTA and the Ministry of Finance. LIME is among the first companies to wholeheartedly embrace the initiative by taking eight young trainees on board.
Over the next eight weeks the youths will be exposed to various departments in the company including human resources, marketing, sales and administration. They will receive mentorship and hands-on training in high-skilled occupations that are both challenging and relevant to employment in today’s economy.
Upon successful completion of their apprenticeship, the graduates will be awarded a certificate of completion by the SLHTA and LIME. They will also be listed on the SLHTA skills database to which employers will be given access to screen possible applicants for vacancies.
CEO of LIME St. Lucia, Geraldine Pitt, said, “This apprenticeship programme could not have come at a better time and we applaud SLHTA for taking this initiative. This is yet another proud moment for LIME as it builds upon our long history of developing young minds through internship and apprenticeship. With the positive attitude expressed by the young participants and their eagerness to work and learn, there is no doubt that this will be a fruitful exchange as they have presented great ideas on how, as a company, we can improve on our quality of service and our product offering to the youth.”
Miss Pitt added: “All too often when our youth and young adults seek employment, employers require job experience yet few are willing to provide them with that first opportunity. That’s the beauty of this programme; for many it’s a place to start and we are excited to be a part of their long journey into the world of work.”
Executive Vice President of the SLHTA, Mr. Noorani Azeez said, “We are delighted to have LIME on board as a partner. We are all too aware of the urgent need for greater streamlining of training programmes that address employers’ concerns about the poor quality of applicants seeking employment, their lack of experience and misconceptions about the realities of work in the hospitality and other sectors. LIME and our other partners in the programme know that they are not only helping young people achieve their dreams, they are also developing a world-class workforce for Saint Lucia in the 21st century.”
LIME has given scores of secondary school students the opportunity to benefit from internships and real-work experience over the years. They include 16 students from the Entrepot Secondary School who participated in a three-day work-study programme a few years ago, during which they were exposed to a number of jobs in retail, customer experience, finance, human resources, corporate sales, service support delivery and marketing. They all said they found it an immensely enjoyable experience, and some admitted it had taught them that education is not just about what happens in the classroom.