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Jump START your career

Prince Roberts was the kind of youngster who was “fooling around in school” and not taking his future seriously.

But after completing the Bermuda Hospitality Institute’s START Certification Programme, the teenager has a new lease on life.

The START programme, which runs from January to April, prepares high school students age 16 and up for careers in the hospitality industry.

Young people must complete 180 hours of classroom lectures, site visits and special projects in order to successfully graduate.

Eleven young people were recently praised for completing the programme, including Mr Roberts, Malisa Franklin, Kayjuna Lema, Zakiya Lightbourne, Shy’Ynne Postlethwaite, Tafari Rayner, Tia-vonnie Smith, Corey Sousa, Jessica Tannock, Rosie Welch and Jah-Kintae Williams.

The recent participants have been guaranteed full time summer employment within the Island’s hospitality industry while they are in school.

They will be holding entre level positions at places like Red Steakhouse, Hamilton Princess and Pompano.

Mr Roberts, 16, will be working in customer service at Butterfield & Vallis this summer.

Thanks to the programme he is now more focused and determined than ever. He was given the chance to meet people in the hospitality industry and learned a lot about his Island home.

“It helped me to be a better person because I went through a rough time in my life when I was just fooling around in school,” he said.

“They helped me by grooming and guiding me into this person I am now and I feel my hopes are really high for the future.”

Richard North, his mentor and teacher at Berkeley Institute, said he has also seen positive changes in him.

“He has matured and I have seen him grow in the past 12 months.

“I think everyone needs to find a niche and he seems to have found his passion and he is just a different person now.”

Eighteen-year-old Mr Sousa is currently working in Lindo’s butcher department.

He said he grew up helping out with family barbecues and always wanted to have a career in the food service industry.

His ultimate goal is to own his own restaurant and to also become an executive chef.

He encouraged other young people to consider the START programme and said: “Just try everything until you find something you like the most and stick to that because you never are going to know unless you try”.

Jah-Kintae Williams was the top scorer in the exam portion of the START programme.

She said she most enjoyed learning about the variety of different careers you can have within the hospitality industry.

Ms Williams, 17, decided a career in food and beverage would be best suited for her.

“I love socialising and I love working with people so in that part of the industry I can do both.

“First I would like to become a chef and then work my way up to manager,” she said.

Her immediate plan is to save money by working this summer and then to attend school at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Since its inception in 2011, more than 40 students have successfully finished the START programme.

Six are currently in permanent, full time industry positions and another five are returning to previous summer placements.

Classes are held at the Bermuda College, which partners with BHI by allowing the organisation to use its facilities.

Useful website: www.bhi.bm

Eleven students recently completed the classroom component of BHI START programme and learned about the variety of jobs available in the hospitality industry. They have all been matched with employers in the food and beverage, hotel and restaurant business this summer.

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Published June 10, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 09, 2013 at 6:31 pm)

Jump START your career

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