YES Programme adopts dress code

Leslie Connor (left) holds a meeting in his office with Imran Liburd (standing), Hon Glenn Phillip, and Cuthbert Caines, administrative officer, Youth Empowerment

St. Kitts (May 26, 2010) – The country’s youth is reaping from the visionary action taken by Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas one year ago when he spearheaded the creation of the Youth Empowerment through Skills (YES) Programme.

Leslie Connor, manager at the YES Programme secretariat, while in full praise of the Prime Minister’s vision, has said that they have embarked on moving the programme forward by consolidating the gains with the first step being the adoption of a dress code for the YES Programme students which will restructure their outward outlook.

“What we are trying to do is to bring some discipline to the YES Programme as we move forward,” noted Connor. “Our intention is to ensure that we get most of the classes in uniform because we find that by doing that they look more respectable. They themselves would learn to know they should dress properly and that we are preparing them for the workplace.”

According to Connor, this is a view that has the blessings of the Cabinet as was articulated last week by the Minister of Information Technology, Hon Nigel Carty, especially on the issue of discipline among the students. The YES Secretariat has had extensive discussions with the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Hon Glenn Phillip, on the same subject.

Hospitality and hotels trades students attired in their new uniform in class at the Keys Community Centre

“For me dress code is important and if you dress properly it makes you feel complete,” said Connor. “Without that, putting a dress code in place, it may mean students come dressed anyhow and don’t care what you tell them how to dress, they would wear what they want to wear.

“Therefore as a way of moving the project forward we are making sure that they dress properly. We are not putting a burden on them as to say we have a standard colour, but have given them the opportunity to choose a colour with the name attached on the shirt so that they could be properly identified and by doing that it puts them in a position to realise that they have responsibility and they can no longer do things they way they want to do it.”

Last week, the YES Programme Secretariat manager, accompanied by Imran Liburd, Programme field officer, and Vernon Henderson of the Department of Youth Skills, called on the YES Programme hospitality and hotel trades class at the Keys Community Centre, where he complimented the students and their instructor, Dominic Stevens, for being the first class to wear a uniform.

According to Connor, the whole idea is to set the tone and put the YES Programme in a better position than it was before when it comes to dress code and the way people come to class and they attend class. He added that behaviour and attitude among the students is a virtue the programme wants to put on the front burner.

“The Prime Minister worked very hard to ensure that the young people are empowered in some way and not only empowered in some way, but also given a weekly stipend to help them through these hard economic times,” commented Connor. “We surely we cannot afford to let Dr Douglas down by having students who appear to be unruly.

“The students have got to recognise and learn that they have got to respect themselves and then they will be able to respect other people too and therefore we move forward in putting them in uniform so they would realise too that they have responsibilities to themselves, when they carry the logo of the YES Programme.”

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