By Hensley Daniel,
There is urgent need to close the skills gap on the island of Nevis.
I remember my late mother saying to me that when she left school she was encouraged to go to Needle School because her parents wanted her to become a seamstress. The young men at that time were targeted to learn trades to become carpenters and masons. We need to sharpen the focus on skills training.
There must be an audit of the skills set in the island so that we would know which areas to target.
Skills training improves the self esteem and feelings of self worth as people develop competence in their trades.
Since skilled persons attract high salaries families and communities can be lifted out of poverty by increasing the number of skilled persons.
It is often easier for skilled persons to find employment because the demand for skilled labour continues to rise .
Skilled workers develop a positive work ethic by focusing on tasks.This is good for the island. They can lead the effort to improve our work ethic so that we can deliver products and services on time.
We should begin immediately to focus on the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program if we are going to stay in the race to close the skills gap and beat the competition.
We have to work toward the Certification of our skilled workers to enable them to compete in the OECS and Caricom market.
Skills training should form part of our Adult and Continuing Education Programme.
Skills training is a crime prevention and rehabilitation measure. Skilled persons are less likely to be involved in criminal activities. They will be busy making money and building up their customer base.
Families ought to encourage their children to pursue skills training and where possible set aside some money to help with the training.
Closing the skills gap must become a major strategy for economic and social development.
What do you think?
Main photo: Hensley Daniel