Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 24, 2020 (S.T.E.P.) — Prime Minister and Minister of People Empowerment, with responsibility for the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), Dr the Hon Timothy Harris said on Friday February 21 at the opening of the STEP Health and Career Expo 2020 that his Team Unity Administration is providing exciting opportunities for the young and the not so young people through STEP.
“Today’s Health and Career Expo, is an exciting opportunity for you to take advantage of the expanding opportunities that are occurring in St. Kitts and Nevis under the watch of the Team Unity Government for your professional development, and for your personal development,” said Prime Minister Harris at the ceremony which was held at the West Independence Square in Basseterre.
The Honourable Prime Minister added: “Today’s expo provides you with many choices to get involved. That is what your Team Unity Government is all about – providing you with the support to get involved to be an active part of our Federation and of course to be all that you can be.”
STEP Health and Career Expo 2020 which showcased activities of STEP in the various sectors, both public and private, where STEP interns are attached for skills training, was held in commemoration of STEP’s third anniversary.
Among those present were the Minister of State the Hon Wendy Phipps, and the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for STEP Mr Osbert DeSuza. The opening ceremony was chaired by STEP’s Director Mr Emile Greene, while STEP’s Field Coordinator Mr William Phillip gave the vote of thanks.
With over 3,000 participants in the programme, Prime Minister Harris observed that STEP is perhaps the second largest employer of persons in the country. He added that the Team Unity Government is all about delivering a stronger, better and safer St. Kitts and Nevis for all, their families and for the young people.
“Therefore the quality of the learning – the training; the output of STEP can in fact impact on how quickly we move forward to that safer and better future,” said the Prime Minister. “We acknowledge today that our St. Kitts and Nevis is heading in the right direction. We are on a path to a brighter future. Our country in the short of five years is a wonderful success story and we are, as a country, an example of the best managed small island state in the region.”
Previously known as the People Employment Programme (PEP) that was offering short term employment, the Team Unity Government transformed and renamed it the Skills Training Empowerment Programme to provide people with better opportunities through skills training. Its activities cover both St. Kitts and Nevis where over 3,000 persons are receiving training either through job attachments or formal training through educational institutions like the Advanced Vocational Education Centre (AVEC), and the National Skills Training Programme.
“Team Unity Government is investing in job training,” Prime Minister Harris noted. “That is why in the month of March three short-term courses will be launched for STEP participants in the area of plumbing, automobile bodyworks, and nail technology. Following these courses, other short courses will follow and if you are interested in any you should indicate to the STEP office. These will include barbering, welding, photography, catering, and stonework. Certificates of competency will be issued to those who successfully participate in these training programmes.”
After the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Harris toured some of the booths at the STEP Health and Career Expo 2020 where he interacted with STEP interns and their employers.