Following a seven-month attachment experience, 28 budding banking professionals successfully graduated from Republic Bank’s Youth Link Apprenticeship Programme for the period 2016/2017.They now join the alumni of about 241 participants who have benefited from thisGraduands of the Youth Link Apprenticeship Programme are joined by officials of Republic Bank Guyana Limited.developmental opportunity over the past 9 years.Their graduation ceremony, hosted at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown on Thursday, afforded Republic Bank Limited (RBL) the opportunity to honour the young enthusiasts for the passion and dedication they had portrayed during their placement at the bank’s various locations throughout the country.This programme afforded the 28 graduands the benefit of specialized training and coaching within the areas of business and banking operations, so as to increase their individual capacities and develop their professionalism.Addressing the graduands, Richard Sammy, Managing Director of Republic Bank Guyana Limited, expressed elation at the successful completion of the bank’s initiative. Reflecting on the experience, Sammy highlighted the achievement of the program and posited that, “from where I stand, and remembering the anxious faces a few months ago, I see a transformed group of young professionals (who are) capable, confident, and now certified to join any professional organization in Guyana or the region.”Pastor Marlon Hestick, initiator of the Man to Man Foundation, speaking at the event, thanked RBL for the outstanding effort, which he noted is in accordance with the needs of the nation.Hestick dubbed this experience a privilege endowed on the participations, and urged the graduating class to make the best of what was attained. “What you generate as graduands of this programme will be the standard for your generation; that is the privilege you have,” he relayed.As a part of the programme, the apprentices were involved in the preparation of a business proposal, and in public speaking sessions, first aid training, and various forms of civic engagement. Participants were evaluated every step along with way, with five being rewarded for their outstanding performance.Copping the two most coveted prizes presented at the ceremony was Apprentice Fardeen Alli, who was decorated for his business proposal and received the title of Best All Rounder.In his Valedictory remarks, Alli revisited the moment it all started, and underlined that while the Youth Link Programme was a new experience, the participants embraced the challenges and thus emerged victorious.During the celebrations, the gathering participated in a moment of silence to honour the now deceased Keisha Anthony, a Youth Link participant who succumbed to injuries sustained in an accident just as the programme had hit its homestretch.The late Anthony has been recognized for her participation, and the company has pledged support to the family as they continue to mourn the loss of their loved one.The Youth Link Apprenticeship Programme was first introduced in Guyana in 2008 as an effort to prepare newly graduated high school students for the world of work. Having completed this programme, the participants are now certified with the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), which was offered through the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies (CANTA), enabling the apprentices to be eligible for jobs within the banking arena throughout the CARICOM Region.