U.S. Ambassador Taglialatela (second left) listens to the A Ganar participants during a visit to a bar and restaurant training session for A Ganar participants at the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s All Saints Training Center in Speightstown, St. Peter.
The United States Ambassador to Barbados the Eastern Caribbean and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Linda Taglialatela, witnessed first-hand how the United States Government, through the Agency for International Development (USAID)–supported A Ganar Program is improving the employability of Barbadian youth.
The opportunity came during a visit to a bar and restaurant training session for A Ganar participants at the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s All Saints Training Center in Speightstown, St. Peter. Ambassador Taglialatela, joined by officials from the Ministry of Education, the Barbados Vocational Training Board, and the National Initiative for Service Excellence (NISE), praised the 25 participants who shared their views on the program.
Approximately 1,284 at-risk youth between the ages of 16 and 24 are enrolled in the program that provides academic support, sport-based life skills training, technical training, and internships. After undergoing technical training, a group of 124 youth recently commenced internships at 32 local businesses. The A Ganar program covers three phases: Phase 1 – Academic and Life Skill-Building, Phase 2 – Technical Training, and Phase 3 – Internship.
USAID’s contribution along with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the local pilot follows successful support of the A Ganar program in Suriname, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Dominica, as well as to the wider Caribbean region and Latin America. The Barbados A Ganar program ends in September 2018.