PM Douglas optimistic about future of St. Kitts and Nevis, says PEP is expected to reduce unemployment

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, DECEMBER 27TH 2012 (CUOPM) – The recent launching of the People Empowerment Programme (PEP), which is expected to provide jobs for about one thousand persons is expected to reduce the is expected to reduce the unemployment rate.

Speaking at the launching of the People Empowerment Programme (PEP), St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas said a significant amount of time has been spent on the development of PEP in order to ensure that it was both broad-based and comprehensive.

PEP Chairman, Mr. Elvis Newton; Hon. Dr. Earl Asim Martin; Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty; Prime Minister the Rt. Ho. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and Ms. Rattan

“I am particularly pleased by how well the six areas on which it focuses fit into the economy that my Government has worked so hard to build in St. Kitts and Nevis. It provides, for the already-qualified, opportunities to advance themselves through the real world, in practical assignments. Those who are already qualified and are unemployed and even if you already employed and you wish to get involved in other areas this is the opportunity that is being provided by PEP,” said Dr. Douglas.

He pointed out that there are two central programmes to PEP that are designed specifically to enable women in the small enterprise sector to break into – and advance in – the male- dominated construction trade that I mentioned before. PEP also focuses on the critically important areas of agriculture, it also focuses on infrastructure improvement, it focuses on training and entrepreneurial development as well and all of this in particular is in order to advance the interests of citizens.

He encouraged every young person within the sound of his voice – whether present here today, or who is getting this message via radio or the internet to move right away to register for this important Programme.

“There are 1,000 positions to be filled, and all who are interested should move now to seize this important opportunity,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis leader.

“We want to bring the unemployment level down from where it is today. It may be about 13% I am not certain, we want to bring it to 0%, we don’t want it to rise higher than where it is. We want to provide work for our people because, when our people are working, they feel dignified. They feel as if they have power in their hands and they can do things that they have never done before. We are here to bond with our young people, our unemployed people to empower them so that they could start fresh through PEP and move forward with their lives,” said Dr. Douglas.

He stated that the Prime Minister he is extremely optimistic about the future of St. Kitts and Nevis.

“Some people don’t like to hear me say it, but if it is so what they want me to do, I can only be optimistic because things are moving forward in St. Kitts and Nevis. And everyone in our country should not only take pride, but indeed be quite grateful to our Maker, the man above, that we have been able to withstand the most turbulent period in world history. This should imbue us with the strength and with the confidence to move forward in a spirit of faith and positivity because St. Kitts and Nevis is poised for another take off,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

He added that it was important that the nation has young people as partners, qualified, ambitious and eager participants in nation building.

“The PEP programme was designed to get us precisely there. And so, I once again urge, I call upon the youths of our proud nation, to step forward and equip yourselves to take your rightful place in the land of their birth, and use this Programme to achieve what you have never achieved before. There has been a lot of talk as I said about the S.I.D.F, a lot of negative talk, they could not have the vision that we have today, long live the S.I.D.F, three cheers to the S.I.D.F, ‘hip-hip hurray, hip-hip hurray, hip-hip hurray’. They cannot beat us, we are here to ensure that our young people are empowered, join the ranks and for God’s sake move forward, build your country, join with us in moving forward,” said Prime Minister Douglas.

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