The Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) / National Qualification Department, in collaboration with Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP), under the Ministry of National Security, announces the launch of the (SKYE) Skills for Youth Employment Program in the prison. Fourteen inmates will participate in a first-of-its-kind Furniture Making Program, which will run for 10 weeks with the aim of reducing recidivism.
Mr. Endall Johnson, the Department’s Director, stated, “the department approached the prison to do this program as a means of providing hope for the inmates. Upon completion of their sentencing, they will have a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 1 certificate in the area of carpentry and joinery that will give them the opportunity to gain employment in and outside of SVG, this initiative is also a form of rehabilitation for the inmates at the HMP.” He goes on to say that we are giving them the opportunity to advance from level 1 to level 2 or 3 in the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), and with this certificate, they can migrate to work and gain employment.
“The most important thing is that we want to give these inmates hope, and we are very happy to be the first to offer this type of training in the prison. There are also plans to offer other short courses in the future, such as garment construction and welding. We also intend to use the (PLAR) Prior Learning Assessment recognition modality in the future to certify inmates who have skills but are not certified.
Mrs. Eslhyn Yearwood-Thomas Senior Education Officer with the responsibility for Assessment and Quality Assurance imparted her knowledge and overview in her opening remarks outlined the quality assurance mechanism in place and stressed the need for commitment to succeed on the part of the inmates.
The superintendent of Her Majesty’s Prison SOP Hazelwood expressed his excitement and satisfaction with the idea. He added that it can undoubtedly give hope for the reintegration of the inmates into society. I appreciate the effort and look forward to the program’s outcome. According to the SOP Hazelwood, the chosen inmates have lengthy sentences, so when they are released they will have a tool and the hope that everything is not lost. They may use this knowledge to change their lives, which will also benefit them financially and enable them to support their families.
Following the official ceremony, the NQD team revisited the prison to hand over consumables, hand tools, and footwear that were purchased through the SKYE program.