Last week, we described how our secondary school students could graduate with some measure of independence. This can be achieved by keeping our students interested in learning by teaching them the practical aspects of subjects during the first three years, and then training them to start and grow successful businesses using this practical knowledge.
Our students can be taught the more theoretical information during years 4 and 5 in preparation for their CXC examinations. However, what will we do for those who have already graduated with no marketable skills?
Solutions Barbados’ plan is to train all persons, including recent graduates, to start and grow profitable businesses, with no or very little start-up funds.
The training workshop takes five (5) weeks and it will be transmitted on CBC television and on the Internet, where it can also be accessed with a smart phone. At the end of the 5-week workshop, all participants should have started a viable business.
Once persons have a sustainable business and wish to expand, a Solutions Barbados administration will provide micro-loans from a new national bank, which will be managed at all post offices. Such loans will not be available to start a business, only to grow a profitable business.
It is common for our youth to leave secondary school in search of entry-level jobs. Such jobs include washing dishes, mixing concrete, carrying construction materials around a site, and security guard duties. Nothing is wrong with these types of jobs. However, our youth must see them as means to an end and not their end.
There is a measurable difference in the attitude of a person who washes dishes to fund his business, and the person who washes dishes for a living. The one who sees an entry-level job as a temporary stepping-stone may work hard to complete his tasks. The one who has resigned himself to the realization that the entry-level job is permanent, may pace himself for a life-sentence of boredom.
Barbados needs all persons to participate in our economy at their highest potential. Therefore, all persons in entry-level jobs should have a plan for advancing in the company or starting their own businesses. The 5-week workshop is designed to also train those in entry-level jobs to grow out of them.
Despite all the training, our youth can still be frustrated when they try to access government services that are critical to their advancement. That is why all government departments are to be managed to the highest international customer-focused standard, ISO 9001.
Our youth can also be held back because they do not know a political operative or are not in favour with the political party n Government. Our youth should not have to prostitute themselves just to access services to which they are entitled. In a Solutions Barbados administration, any public worker who delays, denies or approves an application for politically partisan reasons, or attempts to solicit a bribe or sexual favours for government services, will be fired and lose their pension.
Our youth will eventually replace us. Therefore, they must understand our foundations, appreciate our struggles, acknowledge the threats to our country, accept their responsibilities, and embrace the discipline that is required to lead others.
In preparation for their leadership roles, they must accept the challenge to find honest income-generating work, responsibly grow out of entry-level jobs, ethically start and grow their business, and responsibly advocate for improvements that benefit all of us in Barbadians. Our students and recent graduates will enjoy developing in a Solutions Barbados administration, and we, their parents, will be relieved when they do.
Grenville Phillips II is a Chartered Structural Engineer and the founder of Solutions Barbados. He can be reached at NextParty246@gmail.com