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SET programme hailed a success

SET programme hailed a success


As the first year of the Support for Education and Training (SET) programme comes to an end, over 36 of the participants have left the programme to take up permanent employment or to further their education.

The programme was officially launched on March 18, 2014 with 115 participants, aimed at providing university and college graduates with the necessary skills to prepare them for the world of work.{{more}}

“What we are seeing is a demand now for persons from the SET programme and that is really because of the reputation that the programme has acquired in a short period of time,” said cabinet secretary Kattian Barnwell during an awards ceremony on Friday, when a new cohort of youths was enrolled in the programme.

The cabinet secretary revealed that some additional persons, who have not yet been offered permanent jobs, would be receiving offers shortly from some agencies.

Barnwell attributed this to the success of the programme and the first cohort’s dedication, commitment and willingness to work hard. Furthermore, she stated that favourable reports have been coming in from the various government departments and agencies that received SET interns.

“Universally, in every case, the comments were that these young people continue to improve throughout the tenure of the programme, they continue to give of their best, they are open to suggestions, they are open to correction and at the end of the day… these were young people who were suitable for permanent employment. We have now persons calling from the private sector, asking us if we have any candidates with whatever qualifications that they desire,” Barnwell said.

University graduate Vickilyn Job told the audience on Friday that her first expectation of being a part of the SET programme was to find permanent employment so that she would be able to repay her student loan.

Now at the end of the first year of the programme, Job was happy to report that her expectations were met.

“It was my hope that I would be placed in a position that will allow me the opportunity to use my knowledge and to practise the skills which I gained from my university training in hospitality management. I was assigned to the Ministry of Education, where I was fully integrated as a member of the workforce. I was able to use the theory learnt from my management training which was put into practice for the duties of school feeding coordinator,” she said.

The school feeding coordinator encouraged future participants to work and strive for the best always. “Respect for authority is very important and must be shown at all times. First impression is lasting and I say this in terms of dress and deportment, so always dress appropriately and professionally for work. Remember, recognition does not come with mediocrity, but it comes with always striving to be the best,” said Job.

Sheriffa Hazell declared on Friday that by being a part of the SET programme for one year, she has gained more than she ever could in her entire life. Hazell, who was assigned to the Ministry of Education as a teacher at the JP Eustace Memorial Secondary School, revealed that her experiences challenged and caused her to change her outlook on life.

“I didn’t think I was capable of teaching. Moreover, situations that placed me at the centre of attention made me extremely nervous. However, with the encouragement from friends and family, I prepared myself for a challenge and journey that has now unexpectedly left its mark on my life,” she said.

“My experience as a teacher allowed me to observe first-hand the benefits of the education revolution. It caused me to develop a new found respect and admiration for the teaching profession and the teachers who played their part in shaping my academic and in some instances, personal life.”

Other interns from the first cohort also shared their experiences on the programme and took the opportunity to thank the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and other persons involved in making SET a reality.(BK)