BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (September 17, 2013) — The TVET Council of St. Kitts and Nevis says that the People Employment Programme (PEP), a Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis initiated programme, has made the right step in ensuring that persons in the programme are trained and certified.
Chairman of the TVET Council of St. Kitts and Nevis Mr Clyde Christopher, who is also the Principal of AVEC (Advanced Vocational Education Centre), said on Friday September 13 that they know the origin of PEP and they embrace the administrators of PEP along the lines that those involved in the programme will leave with some sort of certification.
Mr Christopher made the remarks at the opening ceremony of a one-day PEP facilitators’ workshop that was held at the Ocean Terrace Inn in Basseterre.
“I embrace that idea,” said Mr Christopher. “I want to think it is an excellent approach, but what we have to look at is this: That training within itself must never happen to be just because we feel like we want to train.
“Looking at the number of programmes that PEP is involved in I find it is phenomenal, the range is quite wide.”
With PEP having made the right step, the Chairman of the TVET Council of St. Kitts and Nevis advised that they now need to get the right processes in place to make sure that things are done the way they ought to be done for the trainees to be certified.
He lauded PEP’s Training Coordinator, Mrs Celia Christopher, who has been calling him basically everyday at AVEC “because she is interested to ensure that PEP gets it right, and I like the drive that she has.”
Mr Christopher advised that to give the PEP certificate some sort of credibility locally, they will have to run the quality checks to AVEC through the TVET Council so that it has some validity, even outside of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ).
“I want to commend the administrators of PEP for their vision and for the kind of energies that I am seeing exhibited,” added Mr Christopher. “I like the passion; I like the drive that I am seeing from the administrators. I want your facilitators to buy into that also.”
When it comes to the actual certification, he advised that since St. Kitts and Nevis is currently not an authorised certifying body for the CVQ programme, Barbados TVET Council is the one that will make the certification. He however advised that by next year St. Kitts and Nevis will be on chart to certify on its own.
PEP’s Project Manager, Mr Geoffrey Hanley, who gave an overview of the programme, advised that while it was launched in December last year, it started officially in January as a six month-training project, but has now moved to the position of eventually being able to provide permanent employment for youths of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“You are extremely important because you are the ones that are ensuring the smooth flow of the programme,” Mr Hanley told the facilitators. “A programme of this magnitude of course requires strong leadership and I am very pleased with the leadership across the programme, and you must be commended.
“I am grateful to Mrs (Celia) Christopher (PEP’s Training Coordinator) for her support that she has been giving me not only at PEP, but throughout my years in the (civil) service.”
He told them that the investment of the SIDF (which is providing funding support to the programme) is being felt throughout the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and reminded them that PEP was changing the lives of the country’s youth, and the Federation by extension.
“And now with the introduction of the certification, this is an additional benefit the participants can attain,” said Mr Hanley. “We can only do our part; they have their duty as well. In addition to the certification, many of them will get the opportunity of sitting or re-sitting CXCs in January and June.
“The office administration programme headed by Ms Averil Archibald, I am told have completed level I competency and are on their way to level II. This is indeed a remarkable achievement. I am quite certain also; many of the other disciplines are not too far from achieving their required level.”
Giving brief remarks, PEP’s Training Coordinator Mrs Celia Christopher said that the workshop was designed to address issues and concerns with the implementation of the TVET programme, which is part of the PEP’s employment project.
“The People Employment Programme which was designed for 1,000 persons has almost reached the 3,000 mark,” observed Mrs Christopher. “The goal is to provide employment as well as to equip young people with the necessary skills so that they can improve their marketability.”
The workshop was facilitated by PEP’s TVET Instructor Ms Neryl Golding, and Mr Orrett Grenyion, Facilitator/TVET Assessor. The opening ceremony was chaired by Ms Dawn Mills.