Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 1, 2018 (S.T.E.P.) — Director of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) Mr Wendell Wattley has passionately appealed to young school leavers to take control of their destinies in their own land by acquiring the relevant training that will give them skills needed to acquire jobs.
“I have a passion for education – I have a passion for people who want to learn something,” said Mr Wattley recently when he addressed an orientation ceremony for a group of STEP interns who have been selected to attend a number of two-year skills-based courses at the Advanced Vocational Educational Centre (AVEC).
The interns, who reported to AVEC on Monday September 24, will be exposed to the following subject areas: General Cosmetology; Hospitality (Commercial Food Preparation); General Construction; Computer (Data Entry); Auto Mechanic Repairs; Business Studies; Electrical Installation and Electronics; and Graphic Arts and Designs.
“At the end of the two-year programme you are supposed to be getting a CVQ (Caribbean Vocational Qualification) certificate for vocational studies which can be recognised regionally,” explained Mr Wattley. This is the second group of Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP)-sponsored interns that has been enrolled at AVEC. The first group joined the institution last year and save for two who dropped out, the rest are doing well.
Mr Wattley told the young AVEC trainees that STEP is committed to empowering the country’s youths by offering them job and career skills through quality and approved training that would make them competitive at a regional level and not only in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Skills Training Empowerment Programme is committed to pay the enrolment fee at AVEC for each of the students. They will then be paid a weekly stipend for the duration of their two-year course at the institution. Mr Wattley however implored them to take their studies serious and not to attend the courses for the sake of being paid the stipend only.
According to Director Wattley, the main objective of the programme is to train persons in various skills and to have them reach a point of proficiency with the skill to be able to go out into the world of work and gain fulltime employment.
Reminding them that most of them had just left school or recently left school, Mr Wattley impressed upon them that they had been targeted for training because it was the Government’s wish that those interested in skills training do not fall through the cracks.
Present at the orientation ceremony, which was held at the Victoria Road Community Centre in Basseterre, were Ms Cleo Nelson who is one of STEP’s payroll officers, and Ms Tracey Wattley, Training Services Director/Counsellor at AVEC.
Ms Tracey Wattley explained to the STEP interns that AVEC is an adult institution and appealed to them to see it as a training centre. According to the Training Services Director at AVEC, the difference between AVEC and CFBC is that AVEC trains them to go right out into the world of work.
The Training Services Director/Counsellor at AVEC observed that most of the trainees had elected to study Cosmetology, Hospitality with a few persons electing Office Administration. She however advised that AVEC has more electives which if the students are exposed to them, the subjects could prove to be very interesting and profitable – and rewarding as well.