Cabinet informed over 1,000 sign up for PEP

Chief Secretary and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Immigration, Labour and Social Security Mr. Elvis Newton

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JANUARY 22ND 2013 – Some one thousand persons have signed up for the People Employment Initiative (PEP) but there are concerns that not enough females have signed up for the Women In Construction Trades (WICT) and Women In Small Enterprise (WISE) programmes.

Monday’s Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas was briefed by newly-appointed Head of the Civil Service, Permanent Secretary Mr. Elvis Newton.

As Head of the PEP Management Committee, Mr. Newton informed Cabinet that some 1056 persons had made applications for employment, internship and training under the PEP initiative.

Minister of Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty in a post Cabinet briefing told the Cabinet that registration under the various components of the programme was as follows: Agro-enterprise Training and Management (ATM): 106 persons; Engaging Qualified Interns Project (EQUIP): 219 persons; National Infrastructure Improvement Project (NIIP): 84 persons; Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (STED): 621 persons; Women In Construction Trades (WICT): 11 persons and Women In Small Enterprise (WISE): 15 persons.

“Of particular concern were the low numbers of registration in WICT and WISE. The Hon. Marcella Liburd, Minister responsible for Gender Affairs, issued a call for more women to seek opportunities to become involved in small enterprise and to think outside the box with respect to employment and thereby recognize the benefits of becoming involved in the construction trades,” he said.

Minister Liburd has advised that a core plank of the government’s poverty reduction strategy is to empower more women, which in turn will reduce household poverty since many households are headed by single women.

“The cabinet in addition agreed that the same opportunity should be extended for young men to access moderate amounts of financing to capitalize their small businesses and thus improve their livelihoods and those of their children whom they are required to support,” the Information Minister said.

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