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Naval recruitment postponed

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One vital source of employment and remittance for Vincentians may soon diminish.{{more}}

Last week, an official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the scheduled visit by naval recruitment officers from the United Kingdom to these shores has been scrapped due to cuts in the British budget.

Earl Paynter, speaking to Searchlight on Friday, November 12, said that the anticipated November 14 to 28 visit by the officials has been put on hold indefinitely, but all is not lost.

“…The budget review that they had in the UK recently, they have put a postponement on the overseas recruitment…. But persons who are interested in joining the navy can travel to the UK and do the whole examination process. That avenue is still open.”

Paynter advised that persons who are still desirous of applying, can collect the packages that had been dropped off to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs earlier, and would now have to add to that package: a police record, letter from their sponsor(s), four photos and forward that package to the United Kingdom.

He said that approved applicants will then be called to the United Kingdom to write the examinations, which was have taken place here this month.

Successful applicants will be informed of their acceptance within one year.

The recruiters, who were last here five years ago, have been sourcing applicants from St. Vincent and the Grenadines since 2002.

Paynter indicated that more than 250 persons had applied for the examinations this year.

He said that of the applicants, an average of 48 per cent would have been successful.

According to Paynter, the decision may have a negative social effect if it is a permanent decision.

“I hope that postponement is not going to be for a long time, because definitely it would have an effect in terms of employment of young people, and also in return those young people will send remittances home from the military; it is a pretty little sum.”

Paynter hinted that persons interested in taking the examinations can still register online.

The age range for applicants is from 16 to 36 years.

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