Minister Lourens tells students to do their best on the job

PHOTO CUTLINE: Students who took part in the BOPP training listen attentively to Minister of Education Hon. Patricia Lourens as she spoke to them on Friday prior to the certificate presentation. DCOMM Photo

Close to 80 students will hit public and private sector bodies on Monday for a summer stint in getting job experience.

The 15-year old Business Outreach Placement Program (BOPP) of the Government of Sint Maarten has prepared 68 students for public sector summer jobs, and 10 for the private sector.



On Friday every student received a certificate acknowledging that they have completed the necessary training for their summer job.

Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports (Ministry ECYS) Hon. Patricia Lourens told the students that overall, they are the country’s future employees, future employers and business owners.

Minister Lourens said "…you are the future of anything you want to be." Adding that this was the first stage of their path that they will walk, and to seriously think about their own vision on what they would like to be.

The Minister pointed out a couple of things that public and private sector department heads and managers will be looking out for. One very important thing was punctuality, getting to your job on time.

Minister Lourens stressed that "you are young professionals" and "this is your training ground, training for you to get to know how you will perform."

The Minister added that the on-the-job training gives students an opportunity to get a real job once they complete their studies.

Take note of what employers value; respect is also very important as well as patience, perseverance, commitment, conflict resolution, Minister Lourens told students on Friday at the certificate presentation.

The BOPP gears towards providing students with a valuable work experience opportunity prior to completing secondary education and prepare them to enter the workforce. The program is open for all students who are in pre exam and exam classes.

This year, the enthusiasm has been very high with approximately 200 students applying for a vacation job.

Students were offered a general training on how to prepare for and conduct a successful interview.

Minister Lourens further added that the experience gained at the end of the on-the-job training creates a record for each participant, which in turn creates an opportunity for the students to work with the government department or private sector business at the end of their studies, pointing out, "all eyes are on you at this point in time."

Minister Lourens concluded by encouraging students to take advantage of the opportunity and to do well.