NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (February 04, 2022) – Eighteen young men and women have successfully completed the seventh cycle of the YES To Success (YTS) skills training and diversion program, hosted by the Department of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
At a closing ceremony held February 03, Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Youth and Community Development, said he is exceptionally proud of the program as it affords young persons an opportunity to learn marketable technical skills to gain employment or become entrepreneurs.
“We’re living in an era now where as an administration and as a ministry we must respond to the needs of our young people, and this program Yes to Success is a direct response to our young people.
“Our young people need employment. They are living in times that are very challenging, and we are also living in an era where we cannot just focus on persons who are academically inclined, we must also respond to the needs of persons who are technically inclined as well. This is why this YTS program is so vitally important to our young people; and I’m so delighted that my Department of Social Services has responded in an overwhelming way to the needs of our young people and has been able to successfully complete seven cycles of Yes To Success,” he said.
He commended the participants for availing themselves of the opportunity to make themselves more employable, and the management and staff of the Department for working diligently and consistently to ensure young persons get access to quality training.
In her remarks, Ms. Sandra Maynard, Director of the Department of Social Services, spoke to the objective of the program.
“The YTS program speaks to skill development, opening an awareness and likeness for skilled work in young people who may not previously have been interested and it also aims to offer second chances to those who may have had some sort of trouble in their young lives.
“Essentially, if you are a young person 25 years and under needing help to acquire a job, want to train for a skilled position, have a desire and potential to be successful in life, the program is here to assist.”
The seventh cycle of the program began August 16, 2021. Participants would have completed four months of intensive and hands-on training and now possess the required ability to transition into the working world.
Ms. Maynard noted that this most recent cycle saw an increase in the number of applicants, although a few would have obtained full time employment prior to the commencement of the program.
She thanked Ms. Sandrine Caesar, a Probation Officer and Ms. Acaedion Tyson, a Diversion and Rehabilitation Officer, for leading the organizing of last year’s program.
Ms. Tyson informed that the primary areas of training for that cycle included plumbing, electricity, hospitality, and culinary arts. In addition to instruction from facilitators, all eighteen participants were enrolled in internships to gain practical experience and on-the-job training.
Mr. Keith Glasgow, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Community Development handed out certificates and special gifts to the successful participants.
The Department has developed two promotional videos to better market the program and will also partner with the government high schools with respect to recruitment. Cycle 8 of the YES To Success program is scheduled to begin in August 2022.