STEP’s two-year anniversary activities focus on empowering people through skills training

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 14, 2019 (SKNIS): The Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) is focused on “Showcasing Skills, Empowering People for Life” as it celebrates its two-year anniversary since transitioning from PEP (People Employment Programme) with a week of activities that runs from February 10-15.

The week of activities to commemorate the milestone was launched by Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris during a church service at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Bourryeau on Sunday, February 10.

Prime Minister Harris said that STEP is uplifting the lives of young people and has the potential to transform St. Kitts and Nevis through the development of human resource capacity.

“Importantly, today, many of our country’s young people are now contributing meaningfully to the development of their communities, applying what they have learned during their time in the Skills Training Empowerment Programme,” said Prime Minister Harris, while highlighting that “STEP should enhance the human capital in our country. Participants should be made better for it.”

On February 12, approximately 70 participants from both St. Kitts and Nevis attended training sessions for field officers and supervisors, who through the training were equipped with supervisory management skills.

February 13 marked the launch of the Community Enhancement and Beautification Competition at Bloody Point.

Permanent Secretary responsible for STEP, Osbert DeSuza, said that in addition to the Stoneford group, there were other groups from the communities of Sandy Point, Cayon, Lodge Conaree, Molineux and Saddlers, who were involved in the enhancement and beautification competition.

“What we want to do is essentially showcase the landscaping skills of the community enhancement teams, to enhance and beautify the environment at or near sites of national significance,” he said. “For example, we were at Bloody River, which is an area of national significance. [We also want] to promote a sustainable approach to community enhancement programmes, to increase public awareness of the role and impact of the community enhancement group, to clean and provide safe environment not only for us, but for the persons who visit our Federation.”

A “Staff Development Day” will be held on February 14 where persons at the STEP office, both from St. Kitts and Nevis will get insight into communication skills, conflict management resolution and other topics.

According to Wendell Wattley, Director of STEP, Friday, February 15, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. will be a big day for the organization as it will showcase, at the Independence Square, all the avenues of skills training STEP has to offer at a STEP Fair.

“When you come to the Square, expect to see auto mechanics being displayed, electrical engineering, cosmetology, plumbing, carpentry, masonry, almost every sector of skills training will be demonstrated in the square,” said Mr. Wattley. He added that persons attached to farms will also display not only their produce, but their farming methods.

“It is going to be very important for you to come out on Friday,” he said. “We are inviting every single person out to the Square on Friday. Most people really think STEP is just a few persons cutting grass. We are way more than that and we are going to demonstrate that.”

The senior field officer said that it is important for young persons to attend as they will be able to register for the programme. Employers will also have an opportunity to sign up. Pamphlets providing information about the STEP will be provided.

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