Graduates of Kellier's training programme employed in local, overseas hotel sectors

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, October 10, 2019

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CAMBRIDGE, St James — The Community Training for Empowerment Programme (CTEP) initiated by South St James MP Derrick Kellier in 2004 for those of his constituents who were unskilled, has since turned out nearly 2,000 graduates, a large chunk of whom have been absorbed in the hotel sector and the Overseas Employment Programme.

This is according to CTEP coordinator, Claudette Glegg.

“We are brushing near 2,000 persons and many of them have gone on the overseas programme [with] some working locally and because they are trainable, they have been working in other disciplines locally as well,” Glegg told the Jamaica Observer West.

For his part, Kellier was elated at the success of the programme and he commended HEART Trust/NTA for its partnership in providing training and certification.

“The Training for Empowerment Programme, which was started more than 15 years now, has grown from strength to strength. It is a programme where we partner with Heart Trust. People of all ages who are unemployed and unskilled have an opportunity to gain a skill and to come out of the unemployment heap, and to help themselves to build their families and build the country and to allow us to achieve economic growth. So far it has been very, very successful,” Kellier said.

The seven-term MP and Glegg were speaking with the Observer West last week at the Cambridge Community Centre's open day.

Clegg revealed that the current graduating group is the first set to be having classes four days weekly at the community centre. Prior to that the training was one day per week.

She added that the current batch includes the first unattached youth programme.

“It is the first unattached youth programme since we have started in 2004. Prior to this year we normally have classes one day per week throughout the constituency in various hospitality areas such as housekeeping, bartending [and] front desk, but this year we have the special programme and will be moving on to register another batch to start November,” Glegg outlined.

She added: “September was the last assessment for the general construction which was done at Anchovy High School, which will be completed in December, at which time we will have the graduation for everybody.”

She explained that between 2004 and 2018, the member of parliament used his allocation under the Constitutency Development Fund to sponsor half of the fees for trainees.

“But since we started doing the unattached youth programme this year it is done through HEART Trust/NTA and the Government of Jamaica,” she said.

Ages of the first batch of trainees under the unattached youth programme ranged from 18 to 30 years old.

“It was a bit challenging for the first month or two as it was a challenge to get them to adapt to what is prescribed by Heart Trust and CTEP, but we struggled through and we lost a few of them, due to four days a week of classes,” she said.

Some 15 French-speaking Haitians also dropped out, due mainly to the language barrier.

“We are looking at how we can develop a programme to include them (Haitians),” Glegg stated.

For this new cohort she said beauty care and fashion designing will be added to the existing disciplines of housekeeping, bartending, cake baking and decorating.


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