Thirty-six males are now better positioned to access the job market after successfully completing the Ministry of Education’s, Department of Adult and Continuing Education (DACE) in conjunction with UNESCO “Male Education and Empowerment Program”.  

The programme targeted unemployed males and offered training in Auto Mechanics, Electrical Installation, and Plumbing.  It officially came to a close on Wednesday, 19th February, 2020 at the Fisheries Conference Room.

In her welcome remarks, Director of the DACE Kathleen Jeffers, described the graduation ceremony as a special occasion and a time of celebration for the male participants.  Jeffers disclosed that the initial idea was to train women and girls hence she asked the UNESCO staff “what about our males?”  She expressed thanks to the UNESCO staff in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for their support in funding the programme.  The Adult and Continuing Education Director told participants to make use of the other programmes offered by her department to further upgrade their skills.

To this end, UNESCO’s Secretary General in St. Vincent and the Grenadines Janeil Henry-Rose said the “Male Education and Empowerment Program” supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 4 which calls for equitable quality education for all.  She further stated that UNESCO will continue to fund future developmental initiatives.  Henry-Rose urged participants to take advantage of other opportunities to develop themselves.

Participants in the various courses commended the organisers of the “Male Empowerment Program”.  They expressed gratitude to their Instructors and were grateful for the opportunity to learn a skill.  Electrical Installation student Darren McDonald said he left the programme more knowledgeable and was grateful for the opportunity to gain a certificate.

Electrical Installation Instructor Boston Williams told parents and well-wishers that the knowledge imparted to participants was well received.

The Auto Mechanics Instructor at the SVGCC Division of Technical and Vocational Education disclosed that he received glowing reviews from employers about students’ performance on attachment.  Accordingly, Browne stated that five of his students have been employed testimony to work they put in.  He told the young men that they are never too old to learn.  

Plumbing instructor Ray Victory expressed disappointment that of the group of over 30 who started the programme only 10 took the exam.  He encouraged those who completed the programme to do good work and to call him and ask for advice if they ever need it.

Plant Engineer at VINLEC Mark Lulley delivered the feature address.  He urged the young men to seek after knowledge, opportunities, and to pursue training beyond the level gained as the introductory knowledge can lead them to many pathways.  Lulley advised them to not sit idly by and wait for opportunities to come – seek job opportunities – even in the Grenadines where their skills are in high demand.The ceremony concluded with the distribution of certificates.  Training in Auto Mechanics was held at the SVGCC Division of Technical and Vocational Education; Plumbing, at the Doris McKie Learning Resource Centre; and Electrical Installation, at Westwood Training Centre. Each participant is expected to be given a tool kit to start them off in their respective areas.