Earlier today at Ilaro Court, HRH The Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Mia Mottley met with young people in Barbados who showcased skills they had developed on Prince’s Trust International programmes.
Founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2015 and building on four decades of experience in the UK, Prince’s Trust International collaborates with partners in 13 countries around the world. The organisation began delivering programmes in Barbados in 2016 and has since worked with partners including the Barbados Police Service, the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Barbados Youth Business Trust and, most recently, the Barbados Youth ADVANCED Corp and Supreme Counselling for Personal Development.
During today’s celebration, guests saw presentations from local businesses that have grown out of Prince’s Trust International enterprise programmes, including a showcase of an online game aiming to increase understanding and interest in entrepreneurship among young people. Elsewhere, activities from the Team and Get Hired programmes, which work to increase confidence and skills to move young people towards employment, were highlighted. Other featured initiatives included Vibe Check, a new, digital chatbot-based service delivered directly to young people to help them improve their confidence and manage feelings.
A recent participant of the Team programme, Dishonna, shared that she was unemployed and had a new baby to care for. She had found that her lack of qualifications or work experience made it impossible to find a job. But, for her daughter’s sake, Dishonna was determined not to give up. The programme transformed Dishonna’s outlook, inspiring her to make big changes – from applying for a nursing course to starting her own business.
“It helps you to see life in a different way…’’ Dishonna said. “I now own two online businesses. I bake cinnamon rolls and I also sell cosmetics on Instagram. The Prince’s Trust programme inspired me to become my own boss.” In 2019, 86% of young people who completed the Team programme went on to positive next steps such as further education or employment opportunities.
Another recent participant, Tenille, signed up for Get Hired. The programme matches work-ready young people with employers who have existing vacancies and includes a training course aimed at developing key skills for work. Tenille shared that, “It’s definitely good for building skills,” adding that she “really came a long way.” Now thriving as a customer services adviser, Tenille draws daily on these communication and teamwork skills. Within months, she became the first winner of her employer’s Call Centre Ace award, which recognises outstanding achievement at work.
Following a previous visit by HRH The Prince of Wales to Barbados in March 2019, where Prime Minister Mia Mottley was introduced to the work of Prince’s Trust International and their partners, the Government of Barbados provided BBD$1.5m to Prince’s Trust International to help expand its work in the country. As a result of this funding, and support from the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, FirstCaribbean International ComTrust Foundation and the Sandals Foundation, 1,844 young people have been supported since that time.
Commenting on the impact of this work, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, said: “Meeting young people who have benefitted from Prince’s Trust International programmes has been inspirational. These young people are determined to succeed in their careers and it is important for all of us to do our part in enabling their ambitions.
“As Prince’s Trust International and their partners in Barbados continue this work, I am thrilled that many more young people will be reached. This is the next generation of workers, entrepreneurs and leaders and we must ensure they have the necessary tools to succeed”.
This year, despite the pandemic, almost 100% of the young people who attended the Get Hired programme have gone into employment. Continuing this success, Prince’s Trust International aims to further expand its programmes in Barbados, alongside work in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and the Eastern Caribbean, to ensure that many more young people can develop these employability and enterprise skills.