144 young adults, who were enrolled in SVG’s Technical Vocational Education and Training program, have received their Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) on Thursday (October 11) and are now better equipped to access employment.

The Minister of Education, Hon. St. Clair ‘Jimmy’ Prince opened the ceremony by stating that the CVQ certification is an initiative under the At-Risk Youths and Adults (ANEW) program. According to the Minister, this program, “continues to facilitate access to training in the technical areas for Youths and Adults who are at risk, vulnerable and marginalized. We recognize that there are several young Adults between the Ages 17-45 who have dropped out from the formal education system without achieving minimum levels of certification, and who are therefore at a disadvantage with regard to employ-ability. This program meets them where they are and seeks to lift them to a level of skills and competence where they can go forward.”

The Minister of Education noted that the government is placing emphasis on TVET and has introduced CVQ at the four Technical Institutes and has upgraded labs in some secondary schools to TVET. Minister Prince highlighted the role of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in funding major civil works, equipment/tools, furniture, supplies and curriculum support materials for Technical Institutes at Kingstown Campden Park, Barrouallie and Georgetown – Also at the Bequia Community High School and the Division of Technical and Vocational Education. He said they have also received resources from the World Bank that will go directly towards improving TVET in secondary schools.”

According to Minister Prince, the secondary schools TVET programme will include courses in Building Technology; Construction; Technical Drawing; Electrical Installation; Electronics; Food and Nutrition; IT; and Visual Arts. Minister Prince mentioned a graduation ceremony he attended earlier this week where “some 92 young people who were trained for five weeks by the Division of Technical and Vocational Education at the SVGCC. Those at-risk persons were trained in the areas of Refrigeration, Electrical Installation, Plumbing and Hospitality. It was funded by the private sector group, the Mustique Charitable Foundation.”

The awardees were drawn from the Kingstown, Georgetown, Campden Park and Barrouallie Technical Institutes.