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World Youth Skills Day celebrated

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The United Nations marks July 15 as World Youth Skills Day to celebrate the value of providing youths with adequate skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. The event presents opportunities for dialogue between youths, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policymakers and development partners.

This year, the event was held within the challenging context of the Covid-19 era under the theme “Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic”.

Youths are particularly exposed to the consequences of the pandemic which resulted in the closure of training facilities and employer organizations thereby impeding training and work placements. The aim is to develop innovative solutions to overcome these present challenges and expand future possibilities for TVET.

The UK government is providing skills training and vocational qualifications for over 6,000 young men and women in the Eastern Caribbean as a driver for economic recovery and growth. In Grenada, the Resident British Commissioner, Wendy Freeman, commemorated the activity with a site visit to a local UKaid supported project being implemented under the Skills for Youth Employment (SkYE) in the Caribbean programme.

The featured highlight from the visit was youths from Andrae Belfon Contractors Ltd (ABC Ltd) Site Surveying Class demonstrating their competencies and using appropriate equipment to professionally survey a site prone to flooding in preparation for climate resilient construction. The recently appointed British High Commissioner (Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean), Scott Furssedonn-Wood; Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. Keith Mitchell; the Minister with responsibility for Youth Development, Kate Lewis; and members of the SkYE team were present at the activity. The visiting delegation was impressed by the demonstration given by the young trainees. Lewis expressed her satisfaction stating “I am delighted to see the trainees showcase their skills, this is important for youth development – translating the theory into practical.”

The UK government pledges to continue supporting the SkYE programme and its government and private sector partners to provide opportunities for young people to be trained and certified in skills for economic growth and sustainable livelihoods.

Skills for Youth Employment (SkYE) in the Caribbean is a four-year, UKaid funded programme to improve the occupational skills and employability of 6,000 disadvantaged young people, including those challenged by disability, in sectors with good economic growth potential. SkYE is providing certificated skills training for young people in Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent & the Grenadines to enable them to move into employment or to progress to more significant employment and so help develop a more productive and inclusive workforce.

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