PEP continues to empower youth, says Project Manager

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS — Opening of the PEP School of Cosmetology and Salon at the Newtown Community Centre in Basseterre was yet another opportunity the People Employment Programme (PEP) was offering the youth of the Federation to empower themselves.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, which was held on Friday November 1, PEP’s Project Manager Mr Geoffrey Hanley said that the provision of a state of the art salon facility for use by trainees in the cosmetology training programme would assist them in their successful completion of the course, due in a few months.

“It was just three weeks ago, the People Employment Programme set history in the Federation when we witnessed the successful completion, and a hundred percent pass mark, of 29 PEP participants in our PEP Nursing Attendant programme,” said Mr Hanley.

He advised that it was not only the largest group that would have ever been trained in the Federation, but it was the very first time that it had four males being trained in the noble profession of nursing, two of whom were originally landscapers, thanks to PEP’s intervention.

“Today is history in the making as we are about to officially open the PEP School of Cosmetology,” said Mr Hanley. “All of you (trainees) were outfitted with your coats and your start-up kit. I must commend you on the initiative that you took investing in purchasing your own coats. This is true partnership and team work; well done.”

He explained that the facility would be there to ensure that the trainees were equipped to run their own business as the opportunity would allow them to bring their clients at the community centre to render their professional services to the clients. He said he was expecting to be hearing of the opening of many salons throughout the Federation, as the training will be on a roll in, roll out basis.

“This salon is just the beginning of what is to come,” explained Mr Hanley. “From my experience since being asked to head the PEP and would have been interacting with our youth, 90 percent of them, all they are requiring of us is to give them the chance.

“The PEP will continue to support our youth in their positive move. Participants please make use of this golden opportunity. The investment made in you at this trying time must not be taken for granted. We were encouraged by the Almighty that we should count our blessings and name them one by one. Indeed we can all agree that the People Employment Programme is indeed a blessing.”

The opening ceremony was graced with the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister and the area Parliamentary Representative, the Hon Dr Earl Asim Martin, and the Minister of Social and Community Development, the Hon Marcella Liburd, who both delivered encouraging words to the trainees.

According to Mrs Diana Pemberton, a PEP official who gave the training’s overview on behalf of PEP’s Training Coordinator Mrs Celia Christopher, PEP cosmetology training started in March of this year with 24 trainees and two facilitators.

“Life Skills sessions were the first phase of the training which lasted for four months,” observed Mrs Pemberton. “Some of the topics included self esteem, decision-making and conflict resolution just to name a few.

“The training moved into its second phase in June of this year, with the commencement of the technical phase using the Technical Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) model. These standards outlined a number of mandatory and elective activities toward the achievement of the CVQ qualification. In addition, there is the introduction of the CSEC classes to improve the trainees’ marketability and employability.”

She pointed out that currently the trainees had completed a number of activities on the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications and she took the opportunity to show appreciation to Ms Juliette Queeley and Mrs Amoy Arache, the two facilitators involved in the technical aspect of the training.

After official remarks were made, Mrs Iza Phillip, a resident of Ponds Pasture cut the ribbon to signify the opening of the state of the art salon. The two facilitators gave a guided tour of the salon, with of the guests exclaiming how modern looking the salon was.

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