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SET participants begin one-year internships

SET participants begin one-year internships


Through the Supportive Education and Training (SET) programme, 106 persons began one-year internships yesterday, at a number of central government and statutory agencies.{{more}}

Last Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference room was filled with excited young individuals, for the official launch of the programme.

In her remarks, the Cabinet secretary, Kattian Barnwell, outlined the purpose of the programme, which is aimed at investing in the development of the country’s youth by providing them with skills that are frequently utilized in the world of work.

“We are really focusing on the complete development of our youth,” Barnwell declared. “It is an internship programme that will see participants being assigned to a number of central government and statutory agencies for a period of just about a year.”

According to Barnwell, the PetroCaribe SVG funded project, is a pilot for what is hoped to become an annual programme.

“It is anticipated that many persons will find permanent employment in the private or public sector over the course of a next year or so. There will also be those who will move on to more advanced studies at the end of their contracts. Ultimately the work experience gained, will enhance persons’ skills and make them more marketable or equip them for the rigour of the next rung on the ladder of academic advancement,” she said.

At the opening ceremony, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves delivered the feature address.

Although Barnwell stated that the project was Gonsalves’ brainchild, he indicated that it would be unfair for him to take all the credit, as various members of the Government raised different ideas to aid youths who were unemployed and had expenses to meet.

The Prime Minister urged interns to take advantage of their opportunity and increase their strengths and possibilities.

“This is not a joyride. You have to work. Laziness is an absence of virtue. You must work. A progressive society has never been built anywhere in the world on leisure, pleasure and nice time,” he said.

While he acknowledged that persons should be able to enjoy themselves, Gonsalves told interns that they should “have a good work ethic and produce.”

He added that vacancies may arise on permanent staff and there will be possibilities for them to be able to fill that role, once they make good use of their time in their assigned agency.

University graduates will receive a monthly stipend of $2,200 while Community College graduates will receive $1,000.

Gonsalves indicated that while persons could have received more money, he would not have been able to take on as many persons as he did.

Initially, only 80 persons were expected to benefit from the programme.

“Among these 106 persons, you are a vindication of the government’s policies and your parents’ sacrifice and investment in you,” the Prime Minister said.

Persons benefitting from the SET programme are between the ages of 18 and 35, who have limited experience in the world of work and are graduates of accredited universities or graduates of the Community College, who have completed an Associate’s Degree, regional nursing examinations or a minimum of two CAPE or GCE subjects, including Communication Studies.

The Cabinet secretary indicated that a majority of interns were deployed to the Ministry of Education and Community College. However, others have been deployed to agencies that include the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, Ministry of National Mobilization, Housing and Land Development Corporation, Invest SVG and Central Water and Sewerage Authority.