Participants in the 2023 Youth and Adult Training for Employment (YATE) program who graduated last week say they are excited about the new skills learned.
The over 330 students from the various technical institutions across St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) graduated on Thursday, November 30, at a ceremony held at the Kingstown Methodist Church.
Mya Caesar, an aspiring electrician, spoke about the challenge of being a female in male dominated course and how this setting caused her to push herself.
The Spring Village resident shared her experience with the course in electrical installation. “The classes were very fun. I learnt a lot. There were a lot of things in the field that I didn’t notice, [which were] … a bit challenging. Especially seeing that it’s a very male-dominated field. However, as a woman, I had to push and show them what I was doing.”
“I did a bit of electrical in college and that kind of piqued my interest, from then, I started to notice that I had a lot of interest in electrical, so I decided that I am going to the program to get some more skills and just become an electrician.”
Also sharing her experiences was Asherna Brewster, who took a course in general office administration as she had already been working in the area. Additionally, she hoped to become a good office worker … and “get a nice job that that pays well”.
During her time at the Kingstown Technical Institute (KTI) she “learned how to manage my money, manage my time. I learned how to be an efficient office worker as well as do various different tasks”. She also noted that “It was a very wonderful experience. I learned new things. I met new people, made new friends”.
Also graduating from KTI was Cheyann Glynn, who did a course in home furnishing. She said she chose that course because she wanted to learn more about different stitches “… to go out in the world to get a job that I can stitch and sew for other people.”
Additionally, Cheyann told SEARCHLIGHT she learnt how to make pillowcases and hopes to “go out there and sew and make people like my product.”
Elricka Patterson, who graduated from the Georgetown Technical Institute (GTI) said that although he knows he his skilful and multitalented, he is still eager to learn from others who may hold more skills than he.
He understand that “you have to be certified now to do certain things…I understand the situation.”
The Owia resident added that “in the skill field I do electrical installation, wire homes and stuff like that, I fix pipes and stuff, I do tiling.”
He does all this and still manages to make time for football. The enthusiastic young man added that he hope to do a lot and said he wants to help others achieve, in the same manner that he achieved.
The YATE programme is a component of the Human Development Service Delivery (HDSD) project which is funded by a loan through the World Bank.
The programme was designed to assist unemployed and underemployed youth and adults between the ages 17- 45 to develop the basic competencies needed to obtain employment and/or to pursue further employment-related training.
Unemployed youths and adults participate in CVQ Levels 1 and 2 programmes, which aim to provide quality, competency-based certification consistent with labour market needs. The primary target would be to gain a minimum of five CVQ Units.
An aspect of the training focused on entrepreneurship, life skills coaching, career coaching and financial management which has been impacting the participants even after completion of the training.
Following completion of in-class training, trainees were assigned on work attachments with employers.
The training spanned areas such as Electrical Installation, Plumbing, Data Operations, Food Preparation, Food and Beverage, Welding, Housekeeping, Cosmetology and General Construction.