$30m set aside for skills training

By Peter Ngunjiri

Basseterre, St. KittsNovember 6, 2019 (S.T.E.P.) — An investment in excess of EC$30 million has been set aside by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Caribbean Development Bank (CBD), to provide training opportunities in technical and vocational education through the TVET programme for young people under the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP).

“We are trying to bring to your attention opportunities that are available for you to receive training in technical and vocational education,” Mr Osbert DeSuza, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the STEP, told participants at a Soft Skills Training session on Technical and Vocational Training held last week Thursday October 31 at the Old Road Community Centre.

According to Mr DeSuza, the investment which is through a TVET project will offer young people the opportunities for training in the area of technical and vocational education in skills the country needs for its development. The government, he said, is geared to upgrade the status of young persons both on St. Kitts and on Nevis.

The soft skills training session, which was chaired by Mr Emile Greene, STEP’s Quality Assurance Coordinator/Consultant, was facilitated by the Director of the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC) Mr Clyde Christopher, and the CEO of the TVET Secretariat Dr Kertney Thompson. It was also attended by Mr William Phillip, STEP’s Field Coordinator, and Mrs Dawn Hodge-Percival, STEP’s Field Officer for Challengers to Sandy Point.

The Permanent Secretary observed that both the TVET Secretariat and Advanced Vocational Education Centre have been supporting the efforts of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme.

“We at the STEP felt that instead of reinventing the wheel and going and get our own consultants, our own programmes, our own trainees and what have you, we established a very functional relationship with the TVET Secretariat and AVEC,” pointed out Mr DeSuza. He added that the STEP has also been interacting with the National Skills Training Programme (NSTP).

“We want you to seize the opportunity to receive the training,” Mr DeSuza told the participants. “We are here this morning to bring to the attention of all of you, regardless to age, regardless to where you live, the opportunities that are available at the AVEC, and at the National Skills Training Programme (NSTP) for training in skills that the country needs for its development.”

The participants were informed that when they go to AVEC, they would not be funding the training from their own pockets as they would still be on the Skills Training Empowerment Programme

“It is a paid opportunity that we are asking you to seize and take hold of,” implored Mr DeSuza. “There are modules that they will put you through in the different programmes and at the end of the modules you will be certified. You will become a bit more competitive, and you can ease yourself with what you are doing now and get into maybe a job that is higher paying than what the STEP pays you.”

Photo: Participants seen with Mr DeSuza (2nd left front row), and officials from the TVET Secretariat, AVEC and STEP at the Old Road Community Centre.