YES Programme parades third batch of hotel trades trainees

New batch of Keys Community Centre-based YES Programme hotel trades and hospitality trainees show off their new uniform at West Independence Square. Instructor Dominic Stevens is on the left and co-instructor Jasmine Isaac-Lake is on the right.

St. Kitts (May 11, 2010) – After having successfully trained two batches of hotel trades and hospitality students at the Keys Community Centre, the Youth Empowerment through Skills (YES) Programme has recently registered a new class of 25 trainees at the same venue.

Course instructor Dominic Stevens says that the new class started on April 12 and the trainees are showing a lot of potential, promising to outperform those who trained before them. Accordingly they have taken vows that the entire class will go through the six-month course without any of them dropping out.

Last week Wednesday May 5, the 25 held morning devotions with a difference. Instead of meeting at the Keys Community Centre, where devotions would normally be held before commencement of classes, devotions were held at the West Independence Square in Basseterre, all of them immaculately attired in a new uniform.

“I am very comfortable with the batch that I have,” said Stevens. “This is the first day they are coming out in their new official uniform and I am glad to see the bright colours that we have come up with. We will do our daily devotions right here in the square and we will take a tour through Basseterre town, meeting and greeting people, interacting with them and try to see what area of weakness we need to work on.”

Previously the Keys Community Centre YES Programme class has trained 41 students in two batches of six months each and according to Stevens, they are all on job attachments now at various outlets in St. Kitts, among them, Serendipity Restaurant, Marshals Restaurant, Jack Tar, Rituals Coffee House, at the airport, and Chef Rangers.

“The YES Programme has come on stream to empower our youths and it has been doing a great job,” pointed out instructor Stevens. “We have seen development, progress and growth of the youth so far, and I can predict that petty crime is going to go down because of the YES Programme’s involvement, and the trainees themselves getting together.”

According to Stevens, trainees are drawn from the various corners of the island and when they come together for the first at a YES Programme class, they find it hard to mix with persons they have not met before. But the emphasis in the class is that they bond and learn to appreciate each other for their common good, and results have been very encouraging.

Hotel trades and hospitality course co-instructor, Jasmine Isaac-Lake, reported that when they receive a new batch, they observe that the gap in the youth is like east and west. Her duty is to offer them counsel by searching their minds and try to develop a body of students where everyone comes together, and accordingly she says she is pleased with her achievement so far.

“As a parent I look at them and I will by their facial expressions tell that there is something wrong,” said Isaac-Lake. “I pull them aside for a one-on-one, and they tell me what is troubling them. It has been hard, but I do not give up until I reach my goal. Some here have had some little experience in the hotels trade, but some are brand new in the industry. Those we have to handle carefully as we introduce them to the subject they have chosen.”

Student Asher Wharton from Newtown said that at the YES Programme, apart from training in her area of choice, she has been given the opportunity to mix with students from all parts of the country.

“It is an eye opener because I am able to understand other people,” said Wharton. “It was rather difficult to bond with them initially but with the encouragement from our instructors here, we have been able to break those unseen barriers and everyone in the class is now just like family. This is good for the country as all unnecessary fights will be eliminated because we are one people with a common purpose.”

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