Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 14, 2019 (SKNIS): While appearing on the government’s weekly programme, “Working For You,” on February 13, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for STEP, Mr. Osbert DeSuza, said that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has generously funded the STEP component of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Enhancement Programme to ensure that persons in the vocational field have access to quality training and receive the necessary certifications they need in the workplace.

“There is a TVET Enhancement Programme that the CDB is funding via a loan to the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis and this enhancement programme is set up to bring all the technical and vocational institutions under one umbrella that will be directed by the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council. The STEP is an integral part of the TVET Enhancement Programme,” Mr. DeSuza said.

He said that the CDB has made available to the government a substantial amount of funds to pay for the consultancy, which will guide the process of enhancing the STEP. He also said that the STEP is “making a concerted effort with the private sector to ensure that we provide the necessary skillset that is needed for the development of St. Kitts and Nevis.”

“Every time I speak to the STEP, I am reminded that although we have the capacity, the absence of a recognized training institution Caribbean vocational education and training certification is creating a problem for us,” said Mr. DeSuza. He added that while the national certification is available, they are aiming to step it up so persons “can access the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) where they can move across the region and ensure that they are employed with a skill that is absolutely necessary for the building of any nation.”

Mr. DeSuza said that persons from oversees are being preferred over locals for certain jobs because of the lack of certification in most instances.

“We are found at a disadvantage and I think the STEP has to play an integral role in ensuring that we get there,” he said.

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