BOPP holds information session for Business representatives

On Tuesday, March 09, the organizers of the Business Outreach and Placement Program (BOPP) Shermina Powell-Richardson and Elmora Pantophlet-Aventurin of the Youth Affairs section of the Department of Social Cultural Development met with representatives of the business community in the Claude Wathey Legislative Hall to discuss how best to improve the outreach program that is regarded as a valuable work experience for students.

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Aventurin opened the information session and welcomed the audience to the afternoon’s information session; while Powell-Richardson gave a short presentation on the program itself, and ways to improve the program.

The objective of BOPP is to invest in the overall career development of the youth of St. Maarten by outlining for some their future choice of career; providing youngsters with practical work-experience; exposing future graduates to job opportunities on the current and future labor market.

Over the last 5 years the public sector has hired 50 plus students depending on the budget; and the private sector has ranged from 3 to 22 students that they have hired as interns.

Although many companies hire students privately, the BOPP organizers would like to join with the private sector. It would be beneficial for these businesses and the public sector to cooperate, and for these businesses to take advantage of the benefits, such as prescreening of candidates, training of students, monitoring of these students via a coordinator, and identifying of projects and tasks so that businesses and students get the most out of the experience by coordinating the job tasks, Powell-Richardson said.

The program is dedicated to placing exam and pre-exam students of the secondary schools as well as students of the tertiary education level in a four to six-week summer job during the months of July and August.

Present were representatives of Princess Juliana International Airport, the Post Office, Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Foundation, and the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association.

Registration for students to apply begins in April.