Ministerial Statement by The Hon. R. Patricia Gordon-Pamplin, JP, MP:
Mr. Speaker, Cabinet was recently informed of the potential of an upcoming summer employment initiative spearheaded by a prominent Chief Executive Officer with International Business. I am pleased at this time to provide more details on this innovative scheme.
Mr. Speaker, Please indulge me and allow me to provide some background. In recent months, the Honorable Premier Michael Dunkley was approached during his travels by a prominent member of the International Business community, Mr. Ray Brooks, Jr., Chief Executive Officer of Grey Castle. Mr. Brooks proposed an opportunity for a summer student with his company, Grey Castle, in order to provide practical exposure to International Business. Having gained support for his gesture, Mr. Brooks subsequently arranged to meet with George Outerbridge, the Director of Department of Workforce Development. After learning that the intended recipients of this opportunity would be high school students, the Director extended an invitation to meet with Dr. Radell Tankard, Education Officer with the Ministry of Education who agreed the initiative would be a tremendous compliment to the Ministry’s Career Pathways Programme.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Brooks and Grey Castle have the shared value of social responsibility as good corporate citizens of Bermuda to provide opportunities for personal and professional development to young Bermudians. His commitment extended beyond his company to enlist the support of two professional membership groups, namely the Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers (BILTIR) and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) to encourage other International Businesses to do the same. I am pleased to inform that as a result of these efforts, this initiative is set to launch on the 11th of July 2016.
Mr. Speaker, Presently, there are fifteen (15) participating companies offering a non-paid summer internship for high school students attending Government’s Senior Schools, Berkeley Institute and Cedarbridge Academy, who also have a keen interest in International Business. It is important to note that although the opportunity is non-paid, participating companies have been encouraged to offer a stipend to students.
The program will extend for 6 weeks with a member organization and select students will have the opportunity to rotate on a two (2) to three (3) week rotation to several companies. An orientation session at the commencement of the program for participating students will provide information on the Internal Business Sector and career path opportunities. Two (2) social events are also planned during the internship.
Mr. Speaker, In addition to work experience, participating companies will provide guidance and mentoring. Work assignments will be administrative and data entry related to provide real world office experience.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to acknowledge Mr. Brooks for his initiative and vision for young Bermudians and thank those who have worked to make this initiative possible. Special thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Education, the Department of Workforce Development, Bermuda International Long Term Insurers and Reinsurers (BILTIR) and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). I also take the time to highlight the following companies from both member organizations who’ve committed to providing work opportunities for our young people. They include:
- Price Water House Cooper;
- Athene Life Re;
- Hannover Life Re Bermuda Ltd.;
- Kane LPI Solutions;
- Safe Harbor Re;
- Royal Gazette;
- Tuckers Point;
- Phoenix Stores;
- Weisshorn Re;
- Wilton Re;
- Kane LPI Solutions;
- Beechwood Bermuda;
- Bermuda International Long Term Insurers & Reinsurers; and
- Grey Castle Life Re.
Mr. Speaker, Research has shown that high school students who have employment opportunities, mentoring and professional support early on are far better equipped to meet the demands of the competitive workforce than if they enter later in their career. There is a strong correlation between early employment opportunities and reduced high school dropout rates.
Mr. Speaker, In keeping with the Government’s commitment to developing our young people, providing opportunity, and developing Bermuda’s future workforce, we wholeheartedly support this worthwhile initiative.
Thank you Mr. Speaker