The seventy-strong hospitality class made presentations and also made and provided lunch for PEP staff. According to the head facilitator, Mr Dominic Stevens, the trainees are in three groups; kitchen, front office, and customer service. There were however five presentations because the customer service group had to be broken down into three different groups since it has the largest number of trainees.
“The storm is over,” commented Mr Geoffrey Hanley, PEP’s Project Manager who sat and took notes as the trainees made their presentations. “It is a brand new day from here onwards. I encourage you to invest a little bit more in yourselves by getting yourselves a portfolio. Some of you are taking notes, some of you might not be taking because you probably think you might be able to remember.”
Mr Hanley advised them to take the training seriously, as the standard of training being offered was equivalent to that of CXC subjects. “The way we would have developed the modules for your training, once you are successful you will get a certificate to qualify you just like those persons who would have had five, six or seven CXC subjects because we are using the TVET standard,” he added.
The PEP team, which included Consultant Ms Telly Valerie Onu and Training Coordinator Mrs Celia Christopher, was joined by Ms Osslyn Ward, a Social Development Planner within the Ministry of Sustainable Development, who specifically works within the Department of Economic Affairs, and Public Sector Investment Planning.
Ms Ward explained that her role as a Social Development Planner is essentially to assist the government of St. Kitts and Nevis in facilitating social development and by extension national development through the planning and design of social development related policies, plans, programmes and initiatives.
“I have not been intricately involved in the planning of the People Employment Programme, but as it is being rolled on, I have been assigned in conducting an assessment of the PEP in terms of the implementation strategy and the progress to date,” said Ms Ward. “So that is why I am here today. I am seeing the outcome, and the impact is very essential in facilitating social and economic development.”
As the PEP trainees rolled out their presentations based on what they have learnt, Mr Peter Race, General Manager, Frigate Bay Resort, who was accompanied by the Resort’s Accounts Administrator Ms Dorette Warner, sat and watched all the presentations, and as the professional mind, he gave the trainees a favourable rating.
“The presentation this morning overall I would think was quite satisfactory. Some were a little more competent than others,” said Mr Race. “I think the general knowledge of what they were speaking about was quite good. Some of them maybe should have had a little more preparation as to what they were saying because some were speaking after reading it on the board, but overall it was quite good considering that they are all amateurs, never having probably done it before.”
According to Mr Race, the Resort was able to accommodate the large PEP hospitality class because about a year ago they put out notice to the wider world, North America, Europe that the resort would be under renovation as of May last year.
“We are not fully operational, I tell people at the moment we are half open and half closed,” commented Mr Race. “I am only operating with half my rooms. We have 64 rooms but we can only operate with 30 rooms. I had to downsize the staff. I am operating with less staff than the hotel was operating with a year ago.”
The entire PEP payroll staff joined Mr Hanley and his team to partake of the lunch that had been prepared by the kitchen group under the facilitation of Mr Jason Morton. After the sumptuous meal, all Mr Dominic Stevens could say was: “I was proud of the students because they would have exhibited a lot of pride and a lot of attention to detail to what they would have done.”