PHILIPSBURG–Thirty-three young men and women showed their interest by registering for the Building Construction Trades (BCT) training programme at the Government Administration Building in conference room 2 last week Friday.
The initiative is a collaboration of the Division of Study Financing, the Department of Youth and the Department of Labour and Social Services.
Applicants varied in ages from 19 to 37, with educational backgrounds of a mixture of mostly GED, CXC and secondary school graduates who have a broad assortment of working experience ranging from manual labour and warehouse workers to sales and administration workers.
All applications are being evaluated by a committee and qualified candidates will be identified for the trades training programme, a six-month tailor-made course at MIC Institute of Technology in Trinidad.
The Institute, an agency of the Trinidad Ministry of Education, was established in 1974 as a joint venture of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the United Nations Development Programme/United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNDP/UNIDO) and a number of private local industries.
Once complete, students will leave with MIC certification with the option for formal Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) level one certification.
Financing for this project is secured via the Studying in the Region initiative subsidised by the Dutch Government. One of its goals is to give talented youth and young adults who may not meet the regular study financing guidelines a chance to enhance their marketable competences and become skilled laborers poised to enter the local workforce.
According to a press release from the Education Ministry cabinet issued Tuesday night, unemployment figures prior to Hurricane Irma were at approximately 26 per cent and the Studying in the Region programme was expanded by the Council of Ministers in February 2017 to include unemployed persons wanting to pursue a technical vocational education.
The training is just one avenue of the Department of Education’s overall short-, medium- and long-term vision. However, that will take some time to properly plan and execute via the necessary allocation of funds.
This programme will be evaluated and, as is the case with all recipients of study financing from the Government of St. Maarten, the academic process and progress will be monitored and controlled to ensure that recipients successfully complete this training programme.
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Jorien Wuite was happy to note that four women were among those who registered. “In such a strongly male-dominated field, I was impressed that four ladies came in. I applaud them for not letting traditional gender roles stop them from pursuing their goals and I wish them, along with all the other applicants, success,” she said.
“As I indicated last week when I first encouraged persons to participate in the registration drive, these kinds of initiatives are critical to ensuring that St. Maarten successfully recovers from the setbacks caused by the passing of Hurricane Irma.”
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/73234-govt-construction-training-registration-called-a-success