NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (August 13, 2021) — The Department of Social Services’ Yes To Success (YTS) Youth Skills Training and Diversion programme, which will enter its 7th Cycle, from Monday August 16, 2021, continues to grow.
Speaking on the success of the programme so far, Mrs. Sandra Maynard Morton, Director of Social Services said on August 11, 2021, that it continues help participants to succeed in the wider community.
“The programme is still growing. We are trying to stay focused on who it is meant to serve with the knowledge that young people who are more academically inclined may find it easier to compete in the world of work and life in general, so those that we target, we work hard with them to give them an edge.
“It is always good to see them succeed, complete the programme, get long-term work even go on to other technical programmes, as this raises their confidence and sets them on a good path in life. Some can be challenging to work with. We anticipate drop outs every year but overall we are pleased with the outcomes of YTS thus far,” she said.
The programme, which targets school leavers and older youth up to the age of 25 years, is a three-month skills training programme.
“The programme is strictly targeted to those who are not heavily academically inclined but have the potential to succeed in skilled work. It combines skills training, job preparation and other life skills sessions with a work internship to give the young persons a holistic experience. Its programming is also aimed at providing meaningful engagement to young persons to encourage them to steer clear of crime and violence.
“With good participation, the participants are paid a work stipend. Since 2015 the department has trained between 18 and 25 young persons annually, with an approximate 60 percent success rate of placing them in long-term employment up to 2018,” Ms. Maynard explained.
This year’s training sessions were tailored in anticipation of the reopening of hotels and restaurants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and hopefully a surge in the construction industry, the director stated.
“The planning team at Social Services is offering Hospitality Preparedness Training, and Basic Plumbing, Electrical classes over the next three months to help boost the young person’s confidence in job search at hotels and in the construction industry.
“This year’s training will also incorporate several recreational videography training sessions to help keep the young persons interested,” she said.
The YTS programme is funded through the NIA’s recurring youth development funding and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Juvenile Justice Reform Project.
The training sessions are held at the YTS site at Pinney’s Estate which was officially opened on October 19, 2020. During the opening ceremony Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister of Social Development on Nevis, gave the programme his blessings.