Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 23, 2019 (S.T.E.P.) — The Team Unity Administration is spending millions of dollars to ensure that persons have skills in the various areas of endeavour, and young persons are being encouraged to take advantage of training being offered through the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP).
“Back in the sugar industry time if you did not go to the factory to learn to either weld, to become a carpenter, to become an electrician, or to become a mason, then you were looked at differently in our society,” commented Mr Osbert DeSuza. “Those were the days when people valued skills training, and we want to try and bring it back to our young people.”
Mr DeSuza, who is the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the STEP, made the observation last week Thursday October 17 when he addressed community enhancement workers on the STEP from Lodge, Ottley’s, Phillips and Bourryeau at the opening of a soft skills training session on Technical and Vocational Training held at the Molineux hard courts.
The session was facilitated by Dr Kertney Thompson, the Chief Executive Officer at the TVET Secretariat. Mr DeSuza told the participants that in the past the STEP would have conducted island-wide soft skills training sessions on Money Management, Conflict Resolution, and Group Dynamics to STEP community enhancement workers.
He advised that the STEP had made a shift in the area of soft training sessions to Technical and Vocational Training.
“Millions of dollars are invested weekly, monthly, in the STEP and we want at the end of the day that we are in a position to say that we have trained persons and given them a skill that is marketable – a skill that they can use to become competitive in this day and age,” said Mr DeSuza.
The session was chaired by Mr Emile Greene, STEP Quality Assurance Coordinator/Consultant, and was attended by the STEP Field Co-ordinator Mr William Phillip, who also gave the vote of thanks.
Mr Greene told the participants that any skill that they learn, they will have it for life. He implored them to look at it as adding value to their lives, which would lead to adding value to their homes, adding value to their communities, and adding value to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Dr Kertney Thompson, CEO TVET Secretariat, advised the participants that the secretariat provides certification in a number of skills areas within St. Kitts and Nevis, including welding, automotive, food preparation, electrical, office administration, general construction, and information technology.
The TVET Secretariat CEO advised the STEP community enhancement workers that if they were to attend AVEC or the technical wing of the CFBC, they could get a national vocational qualification in one of those skilled areas, and the TVET Secretariat would provide the certification.
He gave the example of the area of welding in which he noted that most of the new buildings being put up have steel frames, and observed that it was hard to get local welders. Presently at AVEC only two persons are taking that course, meaning that persons coming from the region with national vocational qualifications are the ones taking up those welding jobs.