Basseterre, St. Kitts (CUOPM) – Federal Minister of Youth Empowerment, the Hon. Glenn Phillip, has hailed the cooperation between the People Empowerment Programme (PEP) and the country’s premier educational institution, the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC).
Delivering remarks at a graduation ceremony held Friday June 6 at the Nathaniel-John Hospitality Services Centre of the college, Minister Phillip, who has responsibility for the PEP, congratulated the 19 graduates of Hospitality and Culinary Arts certificate course that had been sponsored by the People Employment Programme and held at the college.
Quoting a US radio personality, Minister Phillip said that as people get older and wiser, they realise that when they are given anything without having to earn it, they become unappreciative and they also become less happy.
“This evening permit me to look more closely at the sentiments of the radio personality, as I congratulate each of the participants who have successfully completed this hospitality training programme jointly organised by the CFBC and the PEP,” Hon. Phillip was quoted in a press release.
“In the same vein of recognition, I must too commend both organisations on the outstanding training programme they have created through cooperation.”
He advised the graduates that the seven months of training, and three months of internship, had given each of them a keener awareness of what is good and acceptable service adding that he was confident that they now have a deeper appreciation of the importance of the growing hospitality sector to the national economy.
“I am confident that this training programme will be the beginning of great careers,” said Hon Phillip. “Some of you may go on to be chefs, and bar and restaurant owners and managers. But what I want you to do, wherever you go, I want each of you to be happy in your choice.
“As the Minister of Youth Empowerment, I applaud the PEP and CFBC for initiating and executing this training in the interest of the advancement and empowerment of our people. If the graduates of this programme were the only individuals to have been in the PEP, every dollar spent so far would have been worth it.”
The certificate course in Hospitality and Culinary Arts was executed by the Director of the Hospitality and Culinary Arts Division Ms. Marsha Bassue, and lecturer in the same Division Mr. Peter Marshall.
The Feature address was delivered by Mr. Peter Jenkins who was introduced by PEP’s Programme Officer (Training) Mrs. Diana Pemberton. Others at the function included Acting Prime Minister the Hon Dr. Earl Asim Martin, CFBC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs Mrs. Delores Stapleton-Harris, CFBC’s Dean of Technical Division Mr. Andrew Abraham, and CFBC’s Bursar, Ms. Brenda Caesar.
The People Employment Programme was represented by the Vice Chair of its Management Committee, and PS in the Ministry of Community and Social Development, Culture and Gender Affairs Ms. Sharon Rattan, Project Manager Mr. Geoffrey Hanley and other senior staff members.
In presenting closing remarks, PEP’s Programme Officer (Monitoring and Evaluations) Mrs. Beverley Williams observed that PEP is a revolutionary progress step in the development of a new work ethic, with a focus on the professional advancement of the people.
“Today we certify, congratulate and release a cadre of trained personnel PEP Level One,” said Mrs. Williams. “I am very proud of all 19 of you here today. I am very pleased to be a part of your journey. Resolve to put these skills that you have acquired through the PEP to good use and to continue maximising this opportunity granted to you.”
She said that PEP was now looking forward to the graduation of the remaining participants in other disciplines that are being offered to the citizens of this country while they are being paid to train.
“It pays to learn, but it gets even better as PEP pays you to learn,” Mrs. Williams told the graduates.
Calling them pioneers, she informed them that they had opened new personal horizons and that they have paved the way for those who will follow them, as PEP grows from strength to strength, touching the lives of many from year to year.