SKYE trainees reaping benefits of their training
Edonique Muckett with a classmate in front of cake they have made
May 16, 2023
SKYE trainees reaping benefits of their training

Some participants in the Skills for Youth Employment in the Caribbean (SKYE) are happy for the experience and commended the initiative, as “SKYE gave us the opportunity to go and do something with our life.”

SKYE is a four-year investment under the United Kingdom Government’s programme of assistance which provides certified Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to people aged 15-30 in order to help improve their employability in sectors where there is evident demand for skilled workers.

The programme which was initiated in March, 2019, is offered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Grenada and Dominica.

Currently, there are 1878 trained and certified participants in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in fields ranging from hospitality and construction to emerging labour markets – such as Information Technology (IT), and Agro-processing.

SEARCHLIGHT spoke with some of the participants who have been, or are in the process of being certified and they shared their experiences and thoughts on the initiative.

Edonique Muckett who has already completed a course in Pastry and is now pursuing a Food and Preparation course said despite the challenges such as having to purchase her own equipment, her experience has been great so far.

“Knowing what you want, you know you want to finish the course to get the certificate, get a job and maybe start your own [business], it’s not really a problem,” she said. She added that she is grateful that the programme is creating possibilities for employment in workplaces that are seeking for employees with the skills that the programme offers. She is also grateful to her instructor who she described as excellent in walking the students through the course.

Rosheka Francis, who also commended her instructor’s diligence said that most of her challenges derived from within herself, having to overcome the fear of telling herself that she is too old to go back to school. She said while the programme is challenging, it is worth it.

“I think it’s beneficial to a lot of us as young people because … young people would just sit back and relax because we have nothing to do, but SKYE gave us the opportunity to go and do something with our life.” Francis is doing a housekeeping course under the programme.

Geraldo Durrany who completed a course in Electrical Installation in the period 2021-2022 has been also reaping the fruits of the programme. He told SEARCHLIGHT that the programme has benefited him financially providing work opportunities in addition to his main job.

“Now I’m actually benefiting from the skill in terms of- I would get jobs from time to time so I’m earning money. The skill that I got now [assisted me] personally, both financially and personally…”.

He said he was introduced to things he had never known before.

“I always had a liking for things electrical. Before I started, I would’ve found myself asking questions, trying to find out how things are done, how to wire a light, do a switch, and outlets and so. So during the whole programme, I was exposed to all of that. The experience … was a great one. It was hands on, a lot of hands on things. We did the actual wiring and installing the consumer unit, the light, the outlet, so it was a pleasant experience.”

The Board of Directors of the SKYE programme recently expressed gratitude and appreciation to its training partners for making the programme an overwhelming success.

This was done through a presentation and appreciation ceremony which was held at the Methodist Church Hall, Kingstown, on Friday, April 21.