STEP programme for marginal and at-risk youth successful to date

Hon. Marcella Liburd, Minister of Social Development (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS,APRIL 24TH 2012 (CUOPM) – A comprehensive update on the progress of the Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Programme (STEP), designed to deliver agricultural and entrepreneurial skills to marginalised and at-risk youth in St. Kitts was presented to Cabinet on Monday.

The STEP programme is being jointly coordinated by the Ministry of Social Development, the Ministry of Education and the STEP Foundation. More particularly, the STEP Foundation is comprised of a number of leaders from the private and public sectors, with varying skills and levels of involvement in business, education and training, and agriculture.

Minister of Social Development, the Hon. Marcella Liburd was immensely pleased with the success of the programme to date and took tremendous pride in the development and the advancement of the young persons involved in the programme.

“The Minister (Liburd) revealed that over 15 shade houses equipped with technology for hydroponic agriculture had been built and that the trainees were displaying high levels of mastery of the technology. Moreover, Cabinet was pleased that the first crop of lettuce produced under the project was recently harvested and successfully marketed,” said Minister of Information, Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty.

He said Minister Liburd emphasised that the STEP programme was designed to be a tool to help change risky behaviour into productive behaviour, and that such a programme needed critical day-to-day oversight and supervision.

He said that Minister Liburd informed Cabinet that Mr. Leroy Greene, former Agricultural Science Teacher and former Director of Sports, had been selected from among a number of interested candidates to supervise the project whilst receiving ongoing programmatic support from the Ministry of Social Development and Gender Affairs, the National Skills Training Programme (NSTP) in the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Police and Defence Force.

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