IT Training Center
Photo By Erasmus Williams
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
June 12, 2012 (CUOPM)
Pointing out that a highly skilled population is critical to enable the transition of the sugar-based economy to a service-oriented economy, the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund has assisted the Government in executing skilled-based training programmes aimed at the youth.
This was disclosed by SIDF’s Chief Executive said the Youth Empowerment through Skills (YES) programme was started in 2009 with a contribution of EC$7,738,704 by the Foundation.
He said the YES programme was administered by the National Skills Training Program of the Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ministry of Social and Community Development and Gender Affairs.
Under this programme, over 1000 young persons were trained and certified in various skills, including aquaculture, business administration, basic computer skills, building construction, industrial maintenance, mechanics, beauty services and clothing and textile.
“Recognizing that young people equipped with skills must be empowered through employment and entrepreneurship, the Foundation again partnered with the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN) to establish the Youth Empowerment through Skill Entrepreneur Fund (YESEF) to provide loans of up to EC$25,000 at a low interest rate to graduates of the programme who wished to start their own business,” said Mr. Crossman.
The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) has seen its asset portfolio grown from EC$17.6 million in 2007 to EC$139.8 million in 2010.
Speaking at the formal launching of its Office, Mr. Crossman said some EC$154 million or US$ 55 million has been invested in the creation of a sustainable, diversified economy by way of grants, loans and share holdings.