Barataria councillor helps constituents get job-ready

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: Kimberly Small

Barataria councillor Kimberly Small hosted an “interview preparation caravan” at the Barataria Community Centre on Tuesday morning.

The event, hosted in collaboration with Catherine Gordon’s Institute of Finishing Elements, was geared towards equipping unemployed people in the Barataria community with the necessary tools to get into the workforce. Skills such as proper interview preparation, effective resume writing, successful job hunting and proper dress attire for interviews were covered at the inaugural, one-day workshop.

The caravan, initially primarily aimed at Barataria’s teenage population, was also attended by a few older people.

Asked about this by Newsday, Small said, “The facilitator, Catherine Gordon, specialises in teaching persons between ages 16-29.

“But when people started to call us, we realised there are people out there who are around 35 that are still looking for jobs, or you know, sometimes you find yourself in a dead-end situation and you want to access better.”

She said as a result they opened up the target audience and accepted anyone currently on the job market, although the event was still predominantly attended by secondary-school students.

Asked why she felt it necessary to host such an event, Small said a lot of people have the necessary skills and competencies to work, but are not given the opportunities to put that on display because their resume or interview preparedness may be lacking.

“Remember, if an employer is getting 30 resumes, you must have something that jumps out at them and differentiates you from the rest.

“Sometimes they might also go to the interview and they’re not properly dressed, they’re not prepared.

“So while they may have the skills, their first impression and actually going through the interview –they are not making it past that stage.”