Sat | Jun 19, 2021

Be a champ! - IGT Jamaica organises workshop to motivate young men

Published:Sunday | July 28, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Nicholas Spence, IGT sales manager, shares a testimonial with a group of young men from the Alpha Institute at an IGT Career Development Workshop held recently at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel aimed at equipping youth for the world of work.
Debbie Green, general manager, IGT Jamaica, delightfully adjusts the tie of a student from the SOS Children’s Village, Stony Hill at an IGT Career Development Workshop held recently at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel. Looking on are team members from the SOS Children’s Village Angela Richards (left) youth leader, and Marvin Simpson, director.

IGT Jamaica recently partnered with the Image Training Centre to bring together a group of 16 young men for a career-development workshop called ‘Success GPS: Be the Champ!’.

The workshop is a component of IGT Jamaica’s After School Advantage (ASA) Programme, which helps provide young people with the tools needed to build an independent and successful life through technology. Attendees included students from the SOS Children’s Village in Stony Hill, which has had a thriving partnership with IGT since the company installed an ASA centre at SOS Children’s Village in 2012. A new, fully equipped computer room was reopened by IGT in 2017 at SOS’s Stony Hill location after fire in 2016 destroyed the original computer lab.

Students from the Alpha Institute participated in the workshop. The Alpha Institute (formerly Alpha Boys’ School) is a private day school licensed by the Ministry of Education and operated by the Religious Sisters of Mercy, dating back to 1880. It offers education and skills training to youth aged 15 to 19 years, most of whom live in challenging circumstances in inner-city Kingston.

Designed by the Image Training Centre, “Success GPS: Be The Champ!” offered training modules to the young men on critical life skills while helping them to build self-esteem, establish personal values, and pursue work goals.

The young men were given tips on presentation and image, grooming, and the correct dress for interviews, the workplace, and other occasions.

IGT Jamaica General Manager Debbie Green was elated with the work put in by the trainers and students during the interactive sessions.

“The boys and girls have their own particular needs, as well as specific challenges, and we want them to find confidence and purpose as they grow up in such a complex and competitive world,” she said. “A year ago, we were pleased with the enthusiastic response from the Women’s Centre girls who attended our Dress for Success workshop, also facilitated by Image Training Centre & Dress for Success JA. We were very comfortable partnering with them for a second year.”

Find purpose

Trainer Daniel Edwards noted that his goal was “to help the young men find their purpose”. He added, “Keeping in mind the boys’ circumstances, I realise that they must work on their appearance and their conduct and build a good reputation. I hope that I served as a catalyst to help them achieve this.”

Director of the SOS Children’s Village Marvin Simpson pointed out that the eight young men selected for the workshop were “on the brink of moving into an independent life”. Noting that there are real challenges for the students stepping out into the world of work, Simpson believed that the training would serve as a “reservoir” of practical tips and life skills for them to fall back on in the absence of family support.

The feedback from the young men was positive. A student at the Alpha Institute said that the workshop helped him to identify positive (and negative) social interactions. Both he and another student from the SOS Children’s Village said that they learned the importance of networking. The latter, a student at the University of Technology (UTech), said the training helped him to be “more open-minded and more understanding of my goals and how to achieve them”. His ambition is to become prime minister. “The workshop helped to drive my passion and my aspirations,” he said.

IGT Jamaica’s Debbie Green observed, “We hope that this exposure will truly provide the foundation that can facilitate these young men launching into the career that suits their passion and purpose.”