Promote internships for young people through public, private sector partnership

Award Winning Chef in Barbados, Michael Hinds believes that it should be mandatory that students in secondary school take part in an internship programme before they leave school.

Owner and Culinary Director of Terasu Inc., Couture Caterers Hinds believes that this can improve the future of productivity and competiveness in Barbados to start gaining work skills from early.

While addressing his alma mater, the Graydon Sealy Secondary formerly the Garrison Secondary School, Business partners meeting on Thursday he explained, “Many places offer, sun, sea and sun but what will separate us is how we deliver our products, the quality of our work, therefore it is important to have well-trained individuals operating at real world pace. Since we are not big enough to produce anything in quantity, our focus has to be quality driven niche market products and services, to achieve this we need public /private sector partnership which offers incentives to companies to take on interns from secondary school. However, this needs to be mandatory in the schools curriculum system to cover work skills. This will further improve and increase our productivity levels over the long term that we can be a more competitive country. Free education is an investment and there must be a return on that….”

Hinds indicated what has guided him over the years in achieving his goals is sacrifice. He recounted, “When I was 14, I did an internship through school and it was an experience. A lot of students may be facing difficult situations but you can create your own positive path by making the best out of opportunities, such as internships. I worked in the Kitchen at Grand Barbados and I realized my love for food and the creativity of food. The internship was a character building exercise and it aided and guided me to following my new found passion. I was never paid for my internships but I was happy to learn and I got to test drive a career and also gain experience...”

“... I was able to go on to Sandy Lane because now I had experience so I was able to get the job because I got a jump start by doing an internship. I was able to achieve promotions and pay raises because employers saw the value in my work and I was sent to training and was able to work throughout the world.”

He continued, “I left Sandy Lane in 2006 as the second most senior post and I left to start my own businesses, now Owner of Terasu Inc., Couture Caterers etc. . . .”

“We also bring on interns into our company for them to have that opportunity. It is important young person’s take internships seriously. It is not about money as some don’t pay, but gaining the skills and experience to develop oneself to create a career path,” Hinds emphasised. (NB)

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