EC$7.7 million spent for skills-based training by SIDF

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas visits YES programme participants in computer training at the Information Technology Center on the C.A. Paul Southwell Industrial Site in 2009.
Participants in one of the Hospitality training courses outside Government Headquarters. (Photos by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, JUNE 12TH 2012 (CUOPM) – Pointing out that a highly skilled population is critical to enable the transition of the sugar-based economy to a service-oriented economy, the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund has assisted the Government in executing skilled-based training programmes aimed at the youth.

This was disclosed by SIDF’s Chief Executive said the Youth Empowerment through Skills (YES) programme was started in 2009 with a contribution of EC$7,738,704 by the Foundation.

He said the YES programme was administered by the National Skills Training Program of the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ministry of Social and Community Development and Gender Affairs.

Under this programme, over 1000 young persons were trained and certified in various skills, including aquaculture, business administration, basic computer skills, building construction, industrial maintenance, mechanics, beauty services and clothing and textile.

“Recognizing that young people equipped with skills must be empowered through employment and entrepreneurship, the Foundation again partnered with the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN) to establish the Youth Empowerment through Skill Entrepreneur Fund (YESEF) to provide loans of up to EC$25,000 at a low interest rate to graduates of the programme who wished to start their own business,” said Mr. Crossman.

The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) has seen its asset portfolio grown from EC$17.6 million in 2007 to EC$139.8 million in 2010.

Speaking at the formal launching of its Office, Mr. Crossman said some EC$154 million or US$ 55million has been invested in the creation of a sustainable, diversified economy by way of grants, loans and share holdings.

He said that the Foundation has to date funded development in ten key areas as follows:

Tourism
$22,616,709.35

Resort Development
$22,615,624.42

Electricity
$21,803,912.40

Agriculture
$13,397,516.11

Investments
$11,000,000.01

Construction
$11,000,000.00

Training
$10,238,704.01

Arts & Culture
$3,100,000.00

Education
$2,500,000.00

Sports
$,438,852.94

In addition budget support has been given to Government in the amount of $32,017,505.59.

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