The first batch of students under the Diageo Learning for Life Project training initiative have received their certificates of completion at an official graduation ceremony held last week.
Operated under the T.A Marryshow Community College (TAMCC) for six months, some forty-nine (49) students received certificates for Bartending, Commercial Food Preparation and House Keeping.
The ceremony, which took place at the Hospitability Department at TAMCC, was held under the theme: Embracing Training Opportunities for Development of Self and Country.
Diageo is one of the world’s largest beverage companies with brands such as Johnny Walker and Baileys.
One of its commitments is to give back to the country in which they do business in the form of education.
The programme which was launched in 2008 is aimed at giving individuals a real opportunity to better themselves and their families and to launch a career path as well as to find a profession, a job or creating a job and becoming active and respectable members of the community.
Corporate Relations Manager for Caribbean and Central America Diageo learning for life Foundation, Patrick Flook encouraged the students to make use of the opportunity.
“We need you the students who are committed to working hard and this can be a changing point in your life, students who understand that it is up to them to make the best of this opportunity, remember also that you are the first one, the first group in Grenada and you do have a responsibility to make the best of what you have learnt so that others may have the same opportunity in the future,” said Flook.
Principal of the college, Jeffrey Britton in recognising the possibilities that Diageo is creating said that TAMCC is ready and willing to participate in other training courses.
“There are still many more citizens out there who need such an opportunity to partake in transforming themselves and the society in which they live.
“Granduants, go out there and take full advantage of your acquired skills, of your new found training to provide the best for yourselves and your family and to assist in the transformation of your community.
“All those receiving certificates today ought to be praised for the fortitude that they have shown in getting to this stage in their progression towards living a more productive and fulfilled life, they have shown strength in an environment where there are so many other attractions,
“…This ladies and gentlemen is a representation of how much value they have placed on the opportunity, which Diageo and TAMCC have provided for them to access training and be recognized”.
Marshanda Frank, one of the graduates who gave a reflection on the last six months, said: “My fellow grandaunts we began in January and we have learnt a lot in the past 6 months but we close this chapter and continue writing the pages of our lives”.
“…Let us not forget the obstacles we have faced and the goals we can achieve, let us remember what we have learnt here and continue to be the best we can be,” she added.
The Diageo Foundation is a registered grant-making charity, which provides charitable donations, matches employee fundraising in the UK and provides longer-term social investment in areas of need.
The foundation is committed to working with the unemployed and disadvantaged, supports environment projects around the world and also supports businesses and communities with relief activities.
The training project targeted vulnerable, young men and women, ages 18+ within Grenada who are unemployed due to a lack of rudimentary employability skills.
Training was offered in three (3) areas – Commercial Food Preparation, Housekeeping and Bartending.
The aim of the training was to provide an opportunity for those selected to be equipped with knowledge and as well as raise the awareness of responsible drinking to the Island’s drinking population and Bar Tenders.
The training was competency-based, complimented with life skills, and Entrepreneurial skills, thus increasing participants’ chances of securing and retaining gainful employment, as well as the ability to establish their own business in the short term.
In order to raise the awareness of responsible drinking, prepare participants for the apprenticeship training and for gainful employment, the visiting lecturers included Grenada Alcohol and Beverage Association, as well as the Ministries of Health, Education, Drug Avoidance Secretariat and local DIAGEO partners.
A Community Awareness Project, intended to allow participants to give back to the Grenadian Community in some tangible way, also formed part of the program and was held on June 14.
Participants embraced the opportunity, and in true community spirit undertook Housekeeping inclusive of: laundry and ironing, preparation and serving of meals and painting at the Dorothy Hopkin and Belair Children’s Home.
Assistance was also given with the erection of a double swing at the Dorothy Hopkin Children’s Home.
Participants also used the opportunity to provide some measure ofcare as well as socialise with residents at both Homes.
Graduates who successful completed the training were recipients of the TAMCC Competency Certificate Level 11 and will also be assessed by the National Training Agency (NTA) for the award of the Caricom Vocational Qualification (CVQ).