BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (May 8, 2013) — When an official of the Liamuiga Security Company walked into the People Employment Programme’s offices at Dorset, Basseterre, with a PEP intern in tow, Project Manager Mr Geoffrey Hanley thought the intern had failed and that they were sending her back.
For a person who is not known for making poor judgements, Mr Hanley had failed this time. PEP office had requested Liamuiga Security to install new locks at the offices, and PEP intern Ms Chantel Charles, who was accompanied by her supervisor Ms Rose Pemberton, had actually come to perform the duty.
“We sent three interns for attachment with Mr O’Mari Browne at Liamuiga Security, two males male and a female,” said Mr Hanley. “Because the type of job it is to fit locks, I would have expected to see one of the male interns. We are extremely happy at PEP to find that Liamuiga Security gives opportunity to females to do what is traditionally a man’s job.”
The 25-year old Ms Chantel Charles was self employed selling food at her boyfriend’s bar, but when the People Employment Programme (PEP) was launched she felt that it could offer her the chance to learn a skill and eventually land a job in the area she would have been trained.
“I joined a man’s world because it would give me the opportunity to learn different things,” said Ms Charles when asked why she chose to be attached as an intern at Liamuiga Security. “I am getting something here. I intend to stay here and continue. When I heard that they were going to fix locks at the PEP office, I just volunteered to go so as to demonstrate what I have learnt.”
The other PEP interns at Liamuiga Security Company are Mr Luiston Marsham and Mr Rohani Hughes.
“Our goal for the persons that we engaged from the People Employment Programme is not only to provide them with some sort of employment during the period,” said Mr O’Mari Browne, CEO Liamuiga Security. “We expect to also give them a skill that they might be able to use in the real world in terms of looking for employment within the specific field that they are trained in,”
The three PEP interns have so far shown an interest in what they are doing and accordingly Mr Browne says that it is his hope that after the six month’s internship he might engage them to work with his company in the same positions they are training. However, he says that their attitude is what will carry the day for them.
“I try to get a person’s attitude,” said Mr Browne. “I do not try to hire persons based on their qualifications only but they attitude. What we are actually hoping is that the females would show the males that they can do what they can do and maybe even a little better.”
According to Mr Browne, PEP intern Ms Charles is placed with someone who basically has the responsibility of teaching her.
“We are trying to go through, not only the in-office training but also to give them some computer-based training that has been put together by recognised institutions so that at the end they would have something, to not only show somebody else, but to feel good about themselves inside that they have accomplished something,” observed Mr Browne.
Mr Browne said that the People Employment Programme is a good initiative and people should not lose sight of what it is, as it is an opportunity for persons to get experience, also an opportunity for institutions to be able to see what is available in the labour force.
“I am hoping that at the end of the internship, not just for our company but in general, wherever persons are placed, both entities, both the persons on PEP and also the entity that they are placed with could see the value of the programme and would be able to continue on with the persons in the capacity that they have been trained in,” said Mr Browne
“It does not make sense to give somebody training for six months and then leave them up in the air, and then they turn around and have to go and do something that is totally different to what it is they trained for.”