January 11, 2008
A needs assessment and fact finding mission was the purpose of a three day visit to Nevis by a four member team from the Trinidad based training institution Metal Industries Company Limited (MIC).
The group headed by Chief Executive Officer Mr. Cipriani Davis, left Nevis on January 11, 2007, following a number of consultations and interviews with skilled workers in construction, mechanics, electricity, technicians, engineers and school leavers to share information that would better equip them to master their craft and acquire professional accreditation.
On arrival, the team was introduced to Premier of Nevis the Hon Joseph Parry who welcomed them to the island while he expressed the Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) interest in the programme.
Minister of Social Transformation the Hon. Hensley Daniel who accompanied the team during their meeting with the contractors and mechanics explained that the NIA had promised to invest in the development of the island’s human resource and had collaborated with MIC to embark upon the process of preparing the youth for the future.
“We [NIA] decided that we are going to spend some time, effort and energy and money to develop the skills of the country and last year we had discussions with Metal Industries Company who are involved in construction and a whole range of other services.
What we are going to do is have a pool of highly trained people to meet the demand of the tourism industry.
“I want to say that training and equipping people is the best way you can ensure that people remain competitive. People are scared about Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) but a good carpenter can never be scared about that because he can build roofs wherever he goes, he just has to maintain his standard. Part of the training is to ameliorate ourselves from that fear that we can’t compete and from the fear of other people coming to take our jobs,” he said.
The Minister disclosed that the NIA was preparing to send 15 persons to Trinidad for a three month period for training in construction and mechanics and on their return they would conduct courses to train others.
He further encouraged the trades men present to advice their fellow workers to indicate their training needs and sign up for the programmes offered by the NIA.
“I want to urge you to urge all the people who work with you and other people you come into contact with, to indicate an interest and sign up with Mr. Pemberton (Permanent Secretary Ministry of Social Transformation) and tell us what you want. This is part of the national training programme and this is the start to ensure competitiveness that we remain on the cutting edge.
“Even though we live in a small country we can be able to respond qualitatively to the demands of the international economic environment. I believe the chance that we will build hotels and villas is enough of an inspiration to be trained. I trust that together with your support we will be able to make good on the training and will benefit immensely,” he said.
Mr. Cipriani Davis told the workers of the many opportunities available in the industry and outlined some of his company’s activities. He urged them to embrace the training that the government had provided and commended Minister Daniel on the move to fill the gap that had been sweeping across the Caribbean, since the Minister had disclosed that workers had to be imported to the island to assist in the construction of hotels and other large projects.
Mr. Davis and his team also visited both the Gingerland and Charlestown Secondary Schools to promote the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) Programme which he said would soon be introduced to all schools across the Caribbean.