Young people complete skills course

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A total of 11 young people have been awarded certificates for completing a skills programme run by the Department of Parks.

The young men and women took part in a two-day health and safety course organised by the Works and Engineering Department.

Roger Parris, acting superintendent of the parks department, said the programme was designed to teach horticulture through hands-on experience.

Mr Parris added: “What we’re trying to do first is to teach them teamwork and trust.

“Once you build that with them, the other stuff falls into place.”

The health and safety course was part of a five-month training programme designed to get young people into the workforce. Participants have worked at the Botanical Gardens in Paget — including on the Christmas display — at Government House, and at the Premier’s official residence. The volunteer programme is held three days a week and three groups have received certificates of completion in horticulture and landscaping since 2014.

Participants are helped to find jobs after completion of the programme and 65 per cent of graduates have found full-time work.

Kelly Madeiros, co-ordinator of the Bermuda Mental Health Treatment Court Programme, said many of the young people in the programme felt that people had given up on them.

Ms Madeiros added: “This programme has literally transformed some of their lives, offering hope and purpose.”

The presentations were made at the Mental Health Treatment Court last Wednesday,

Ms Madeiros said five young people on the latest programme were under some type of court order and that the presentations were designed to showcase the need for community partnerships.

Ms Madeiros added: “We acknowledge that no one person, no department, no agency can do it alone and thus today’s presentation highlighted that it truly takes a village to help people feel success.”

Mr Parris said the ceremony was reinforcement for the work he and others did.

He added: “It also tells us that if we listen to them, the kids will do a lot of the things we are trying to get them to do.

“We have to listen to them in order for us to move forward.”

Mr Parris said the recognition was also important for the participants.

He added: “I think they felt really good.”

Mr Parris highlighted two young men who spoke at the awards ceremony.

He said: “If you saw where they were a month ago, and where they are now, it’s completely different.

“We know that some of them are struggling — and we see that — but if you just come out and work and people see what you’re doing, then it makes it easier for you to get a job.”

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Published Dec 28, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 28, 2017 at 2:34 am)

Young people complete skills course

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