Charlestown, Nevis (July 4, 2013) — The Hon Patrice Nisbett, Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Labour, Justice and Legal Affairs has said that the opening in Nevis of an office by the People Employment Programme (PEP) is a demonstration of the Federal Government’s commitment to the people of Nevis.
“The People Employment Programme has been designed to deal with some of the various challenges that we are experiencing in our country at this time,” said Hon Nisbett. “PEP is a Federal programme and because of that nature, it is felt that citizens of both St. Kitts and Nevis should benefit from the various components of the PEP.”
Hon Nisbett made the remarks on Friday (June 28) at the PEP office which is situated upstairs the Morton Building on Main Street Charlestown at a function where eleven Nevisian women entrepreneurs received grants from the Women in Small Enterprise (WISE), which is a component of the People Employment Programme.
“The Federal Government is clearly demonstrating its commitment, by ensuring that an office has been opened in Nevis so that people can access the various services that the Programme affords to our nationals and residents,” said Hon Nisbett.
“So, Nevisians, or who ever here in Nevis would want to be beneficiaries of the different areas that are covered by the People Employment Programme, they can come here at the office in Charlestown and the persons who have been engaged will be able to guide you through the necessary processes.”
People Employment Programme’s Project Manager, Mr Geoffrey Hanley, who was at the ceremony to award grants to the eleven Nevisian businesswomen, said that apart from the provision of the office, PEP had added two staff members to work alongside PEP coordinator in Nevis, Ms Kerlyn Jones.
“I want to personally thank Ms Jones who has been holding out the end here in Nevis,” said Mr Hanley. “We (now) have Ms Terisha Daniel and Mr Floris Finely who have joined, to ensure that young persons in Nevis are served well. We are going to bring some additional staff in Nevis to introduce the training aspect of our young people. That is something we will embark on shortly.”
According to PEP Coordinator in Nevis, Ms Kerlyn Jones, the programme’s operations in Nevis moved into the new office on Monday 3rd of June. She observed that with the new office and the two additional staff, it has made a huge difference in Nevis.
“I would say that since the office was open, in addition to staff working here, I also have been able to interview persons,” said Ms Jones. “It is something that I am very passionate about bringing them (young persons) here, sitting them down, talking with them hearing what they have to say, what they are interested in and in getting to know them in general and by doing that I have been able to place persons based on what they told me.”
She pointed that since Mr Floris Hanley joined as a Field Officer, he has been able to go out to pick up time sheets, and visit job sites as well. As for Ms Terisha Daniel, who is the secretary, she receives applications from persons coming in.
“A lot of persons have said they didn’t know about the programme before,” commented Ms Jones. “The office is here so they have a base where they can come; they can fill out forms and it is easier to process and it has been a real good experience.”
She added that as of Monday July 1, there would be 200 persons under the People Employment Programme in Nevis.
“Currently we have in Nevis, 429 persons registered under the PEP system,” observed Ms Jones. “We are working tirelessly to employ those persons on the system that we haven’t employed as yet, and if we can’t find employment for them we are also working on training so they can get certification in different areas.”