Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 03, 2016 (SKNIS): Cabinet Secretary, Josephine Huggins, encouraged over 60 People Employment Programme (PEP) graduands to apply what they have learnt to their lives which would benefit them, persons closest to them and the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis on a whole.

This, she said, while speaking on behalf of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, who was unable to attend the graduation ceremony last Friday, September 30. The former trainees received certification in cosmetology, office administration, electricity, computer graphics and early childhood education training among other areas.

“As you embark on your respective careers, the time you spent in preparation, to bring you to this moment would have been well spent, if you apply the knowledge, the expertise, the tutelage and the training imparted to you as you now go out into the real world of work,” the Cabinet Secretary said. “If you accept all that you have been trained, with you will be making yourselves proud, you would be making your facilitators proud, you would be making your families proud and you will end up being a worthwhile citizen of your community and country.”

She urged the former trainees to hold fast to what is noble and true and shun whatever is base and false, reminding them that while they came from different backgrounds all shared the same desire of making a better life for themselves.

“You have had the chance to observe your facilitators and to learn from them,” Mrs. Huggins said. “You have had the opportunity of interacting with your fellow participants and you learnt from each other. And you have had the privilege of your country expending resources on your behalf to prepare you for whatever path you may choose in the future.”

Similarly Osbert DeSuza, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Prime Minister, encouraged the graduands to make use of their training.

“I want to urge you to put what you have learnt into practice, the skills that you learnt here in cosmetology, in computer graphics, in office administration, and in early childhood development,” Mr. DeSuza said. “I want to urge you not to allow your skills to go dying; please as far as possible put what you learnt into practice.”

Mr. DeSuza encouraged the graduates to apply for funding at agencies such as the Foundation for National Development (FND), the St. Kitts Cooperative Credit Union, the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, particularly if they wanted to become an entrepreneurs and own their own businesses. All facilitators, including those for cosmetology, office administration, Early Childhood Development and the Coordinator of the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) were thanked for their work.

The Minister of Education, and Deputy Prime Minister, Honourable Shawn Richards was represented by Kertney Thompson, Director of TVET, who reminded that the graduation ceremony was just a beginning.

“For you the graduates you’ve reached a milestone, you’ve done and achieved things that many have never achieved,” Mr. Thompson said. “You’re at the point where we’re offering from the St. Kitts-Nevis TVET Council, the first tranche of anything related to National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ). For many of you, there’s still some work to be done, but we have reached this point where you have achieved enough to be able to go out there and apply your skills and continue to work towards the development of your career.”

Mr. Thompson added that were additional entrepreneurship training gained, graduands would be eligible to apply for the NVQ in their respective fields. He said that such opportunities could be explored at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) and the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC).