NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (April 23, 2013) — The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) continues to provide opportunities for employment but Premier and Minister of Finance on Nevis Hon. Vance Amory believes that self employment is an area the island’s youth should vigorously explore.
In a recent interview with the Department of Information, Mr. Amory said the Administration encouraged the young people of Nevis to look to areas in which they might want to become self employed and urged them to take advantage of the Sugar Industry Diversification Fund (SIDF) People Empowerment Programme (PEP)
“We are seeking to encourage our young people to look at areas in which they might want to become self employed. We have encouraged them to take advantage of the People Empowerment Programme (PEP). We are also looking at them finding areas of employment with established contractors or established businesses.
“We think that through this, we could reintroduce something which we had on track as the Apprenticeship Scheme, where the Government will provide some assistance, some form of payment for any person who is recruited by the Youth Development Department for employment or attachment to a contractor, to a business place where there is opportunity for employment,” he said and added that the employer would also contribute to the wages and salaries so that there could be some stimulation for employment in Nevis.
Mr. Amory used the opportunity to commend the SIDF for the PEP initiative
“The PEP programme is one which is funded by the SIDF out of St. Kitts. We have no direct control over that but we want to say how much we appreciate that initiative from the SIDF, to provide a level of funding so that some of our young people can be employed.
“Our support for the programme has to be structured; it has to be one which is managed or one which would ensure that we are getting the best out of our people,” he said.
However, the Premier disclosed that he was advised that some participants of the programme were not showing up for work but expected to get paid and that was something the Administration wished to discourage.
“If you are assigned as a member or one who is recruited into the PEP programme, you show up for work whatever the work is and that you do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.
“I think this has to be the new ethic which will guide our involvement in that programme and also which will guide our involvement in any apprenticeship programme which we will support, to give our young an opportunity to select an area in which they would like to work, acquire a skill, acquire a vocation so that they can become useful members of our community,” he said.
The PEP programme has been an initiative of the Federal Government which was launched in Nevis in late 2012. It contributes to material, social and economic transformation through the establishment of various projects which provide employment opportunities for qualifying nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis.