GBPA’s Employment Programme empowers local youth

GBPA SUMMER STUDENTS – The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) ensures that the highest number of Grand Bahamian students are employed for the annual summer programme by offering three, four-week long sessions, from May to August, every year. Posing right after orientation are a group of GBPA summer students from left in the front row are Zaneko Jones, Kaleel Solomon, Ariyanne Kelly, Abigail Simms, Tara Neily, David Major Jr. and Daz Bright. Pictured from left in the back row are Arianna Cooper, Dacacia Russell, Ariah Rolle and Jemonique Barnabie. (PHOTO COURTESY OF GBPA)

The Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) has conducted an ongoing Summer Student Employment Programme for many years which provides Grand Bahamian high school and university students with the opportunity to experience real, hands-on work within the corporate world.

GBPA began this programme with the intent to create a structured environment where young people are able to learn valuable information from top business professionals. The programme, which commenced in May and ends in August of each year, includes three, four-week long sessions; ensuring that GBPA includes the highest number of participants possible.

Dr. Telina Smith, GBPA Human Resources Manager, shared that GBPA is honoured to mentor and coach the youth and future leaders of our Island. The programme provides an opportunity for the interns to gain exposure in the work environment, and develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork and interpersonal skills.

Dr. Smith furthered, “Over the past decade, approximately 1,000 students have been employed by the summer student employment programme. Each year, we are privileged to have such dynamic individuals join our work family during the summer period.”

Lauren Ritchie, returning summer intern in Group Corporate Affairs, noted that she has enjoyed her time working at GBPA. “Every summer here presents a new and exciting challenge for me,” she shared, “and I am excited to be a part of a programme that treats summer students like valuable members of the company staff.”

Ritchie added that whilst most summer internships tend to give students insignificant work, “GBPA is not afraid to give their interns real hands-on experience and the responsibility to actually share their bright ideas and enact real change within the company and community.” Ritchie commended the company on creating a positive and supportive work atmosphere that allows the students to feel encouraged and respected.

Spencer Graham, a summer student in Business Development, stated that he found his first summer working at GBPA to be an eye-opening experience. He explained, “being here has truly opened my eyes to all of the contributions that GBPA makes in Freeport and the Grand Bahamian community at large.”

He went on to add that this experience has been very valuable and that the skills he has learned during his time here so far will be “greatly beneficial to his future experiences in a corporate work environment.” Graham concluded by thanking GBPA for allowing him to take part in such an informative and engaging program, and that he is grateful for the novel insight that he has gained into the business field.

The GBPA Summer Student Programme has been a great initiative to empower the Grand Bahamian Youth, and help them to gain the special skills that they will need to succeed in the professional business environment that awaits them. The Grand Bahama Port Authority looks forward to continuing this programme in the future. We hope the 2019 students are left feeling enriched after their time here with us and we cannot wait to bring even more bright young minds into the program in years to come.

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