BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, December 7, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Workers on the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP) were, on Thursday, December 6, 2018, reminded of the significant role they play in the economic life of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The Prime Minister and Minister of People Empowerment, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, while addressing the STEP Community Clean-up Groups from Upper and Lower Cayon, as well as those from the Spooners community, noted that there are around three thousand persons currently employed on the programme and implored each of them to make the best of the opportunity provided to them under the programme.

“Three thousand persons represent a most significant portion of the workforce, and I came to realize that once the people on STEP are working hard, once they are industrious and they appreciate what it is we are doing, then St. Kitts and Nevis would be a lot better,” Prime Minister Harris said.

Dr. Harris reminded the workers of the significant financial investment the Government is making in them through the STEP programme, and noted that at the end of the day, the production and discipline of those on the programme will determine if it is money well spent.

“I consider it important that the people on STEP feel the presence of the Government at the highest level. So we [the Prime Minister and the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, who was also in attendance] have come to remind you that we need you in service to the country and we need you to give us a fair day’s work for the pay that we have to provide for you,” the Prime Minister said to a round of applause from the STEP workers in attendance.

The STEP workers were at the time participating in a Soft Skills Training Programme at the Cayon Community Centre. The focus of that training was on money management, and featured presentations from officials from the St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla National Bank.

Prime Minister Harris continued, “I want to ensure that because you appreciate the opportunity that you have, you discipline yourselves so that if something were to happen with the STEP programme you would now have a skill and somebody could now make a recommendation for you to get a next job. I would encourage you, if a better job comes along, to leave the STEP programme and go to the better job.”

Thursday’s Soft Skills Training Programme was the third such event in a series of training workshops held for STEP workers over the last several weeks. The first was held at the Conaree Community Centre for STEP Community Clean-up Groups drawn from Bird Rock, Needsmust, National Heroes Park, and Conaree with a focus on conflict management. The second training workshop was held at the St. Johnston’s Community Centre with groups from Boyd’s, West Farm, Buckley’s and West Basseterre ‘A’ and ‘B’.