STEP Programme to focus on technical and vocational training with certification

(SKNIS): The Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) will soon undergo structural and organizational changes to focus on technical and vocational training for those employed under the programme. Director of the STEP, Mr. Wendell Wattley, explained the changes that the programme will see in the short and long term on the Government’s Weekly Programme, “Working for You”, on February 14.

Mr. Wattley said that the STEP office will be shifting its focus to employing persons who have an interest in vocational and technical studies so that they can be trained and certified to go into the workforce. He also said that the office will be working closely with the Ministry of Education and local businesses to implement different training programmes where interns on the programme can get the necessary vocational skills they need while getting paid throughout their training.

“You come in to the programme, you get six months to a year training and then you leave,” said Mr. Wattley, as he noted that the new structure of the programme will take on that of an educational course.

He also stated that one of the goals of the restructuring of the programme is to promote entrepreneurship as well as the acquiring of skills that are in demand in the labour force. He said that the STEP is working closely with Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis to assist trainees to start their own business once they have been certified through the programme.

“Look at yourself as being a potential business person. We do not want people to just work for people, we want people to work for themselves. That to me are some of the ways our young people can be empowered,” he added.

Director Wattely spoke about the spatial and organizational changes that the office will undergo in addition to the revamping of the programme. He explained that they are currently working with consultants who are conducting a full evaluation on the programme that will provide a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis as a guideline for the changes.

“We are in the process of ensuring that the STEP Programme has a proper organizational structure,” said Mr. Wattley while noting that the programme will now have a clear mission statement, objectives, a defined chain of command and a change in the physical work environment.

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