Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 09, 2017 (SKNIS): In celebration of the two year anniversary of the Government of National Unity, the government is rolling out new programmes that will not only benefit youths but adults, says Chairman for the Week of Activities, His Excellency, Ambassador Sydney Osborne, appearing on Wednesday’s (February 08) edition of “Working for You.”

Activities, which include the introduction of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) and the Team Unity Housing Solutions programme “will have a very serious impact on persons in the community,” said the chairman.

Ambassador Osborne said that the introduction of the STEP programme, which focuses on training young persons in various fields, empower these young individuals to play an integral role in society. He said that the housing programme will equally benefit young persons and adults.

In the recent post Cabinet briefing, Cabinet discussed the unveiling of the Team Unity Housing Solutions programme and determined that February 17, 2017, was a good day to conduct the ground-breaking. On that occasion, Prime Minister, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris is expected to deliver the feature address, while Minister of Human Settlement, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, is slated to deliver remarks. The venue for the Housing Programme will be at Corner House, Wellington Road, East Basseterre at 9:30 a.m.

STEP will be launched on Thursday, February 16, at the Circus at 4:30 p.m., which was dubbed by Prime Minister Harris as “an important manifesto commitment” that will replace the People’s Employment Programme (PEP).

Ambassador Osborne said that quite a number of young persons will be present for the move from PEP to STEP.

The chairman said that the government is going to be working with people to develop skills and also train them. “Certainly, if you have a skill then you can be empowered and you do things for yourself,” said Ambassador Osborne.

“I think that’s the important thing about the Team Unity Government. It’s that we recommend and recognize that people must do things for themselves,” he said. “They become entrepreneurs, they open their own doors, they close their own doors and they have their own business and this is a way in which we want to move the country.”

The chairman said that the programme will look at the job opportunities available in St. Kitts and Nevis and train people in those areas. He said that this is important as businesses will be able to source local workers instead of recruiting them from overseas.

“Not against people coming from overseas, but I think we need to ensure that our people, once they are trained, they have the opportunity,” he said.

Ambassador Osborne said that Park Hyatt is just one of the businesses that is training and hiring locals.

“The very interesting development there is that there is an emphasis on using locally trained persons and they have actually been involved in training programmes at the college,” he said. “That is how I expect this STEP programme will go.”