BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS (December 23, 2013) — Some of the People Employment Programme (PEP) classes have taken a two-week break during the Christmas and Carnival season, effective Friday December 20, and will report back on Monday January 6, 2014.
According to PEP’s Project Manager, Mr Geoffrey Hanley, operations of the People Employment Programme are ongoing, but some of the units especially those using community centres have taken a break.
“As the year comes to an end and PEP would have been celebrating one year, for a number of our training sites we have decided that the participants would be given a few days off because some of them are located in community centres and some of the centres are going to be used for Christmas parties,” observed Mr Hanley.
Apart from packed Christmas programmes, some of the community centres require routine maintenance work, which would have been held back as they were being utilised by the PEP students during the year. Affected are classes in cosmetology and hospitality.
Also taking a break are PEP Teaching Assistant Officers (TAO) in the Early Childhood, primary schools and high schools. After schools closed for the holiday season of December and New Year season, the TAOs were occupied in workshops, which were held at the Basseterre High School and at the Newtown Community Centre.
“The two-week workshops ended on Friday December 20, and the participants have taken a break and will resume duties on January 6, 2014,” said Mr Hanley. “So it is not anything close to what some people might think that PEP is closing down or PEP is on vacation.”
PEP’s Training Coordinator, Mrs Celia Christopher and her assistant, Mrs Diana Pemberton, visited all the sites that will be affected by the short break and advised the participants of the two-week break and reassured them that classes would resume on Monday January 6, 2014.
The fact that the People Employment Programme is not on vacation, it has another opportunity to showcase to the general public what the programme is all about, especially after the very successful PEP Festival which was held in November at the Independence Square in Basseterre.
“PEP is happy to be partnering with Carnival Sugar Mas 42, and what we would have decided to do is to present a float on Parade Day,” said Project Manager Geoffrey Hanley. “The float will be depicting areas of PEP in terms of the success stories of PEP being a blessing.
“This in itself is creativity which will be displayed by young people because the float will be crafted and built by young persons, some of whom are in the People Employment Programme.”
According to Mr Hanley, the persons building the float would be taught wire bending, swatches in terms of colours, how to use colours, the colours that play best in the day, during light in terms of their luminosity and the shimmery colours.
“It is another opportunity for training to be displayed on the road while persons are enjoying the creativity of our young people,” said Mr Hanley. “The six components of the programme would be showcased on the float, and some of it will be mechanical you will be seeing them moving and those kind of stuff.
“So it is an opportunity for us to showcase what we have been doing, and you are going to see something in cosmetology, carpentry maybe some hammers, or something to really captivate you and from the time you see it you will realise PEP is a blessing. Parade Day will be on Wednesday the first of January.”
The six components of the People Employment Programme are: Engaging Qualified Interns Project (EQUIP), National Infrastructure Improvement Project (NIIP), Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development (STED), Agri-Enterprise Training and Management Project (ATM), Women in Construction (WICT), and Women in Small Enterprise (WISE).
In the meantime, staff at the PEP Secretariat in Dorset, held a Christmas and gift exchange party at the office on Friday December 20. According to Mr Hanley, this exuded the fact that members of staff at the office value each other, and the occasion was a showcase of true camaraderie.