After 10 months of rigorous training in various fields at the Kuru Kuru Training Centre (KKTC) located on the Linden/ Soesdyke Highway, 236 students officially graduated from the Youth Entrepreneurial Skills Training (YEST) programme on Friday, last, with hopes of returning to their communities and securing jobs.
The YEST programme affords youths the opportunity to interact in an enabling environment and pursue training in one of several options such as: Business Studies, Carpentry, Electrical installation, Garment construction, joinery, masonry, motor mechanics, plumbing and sheet metal, and welding and fabrication.
Best Graduating Student for the 2011 Ronessa Roland, who also secured the position of Best Graduating Student in the Joinery field, told this newspaper that she was extremely happy to be given the opportunity of pursing studies for a career of her choice.
Joinery captured her interest from the inception, especially because there are more jobs available in that field in her community. As she continues to pursue more studies into this area, she hopes that more students would “turn out to KKTC” so that they could have the opportunity of learning about other skills that will benefit them in the long run.
The other Best Graduating Students in their fields are as follows: Lorina Castro (Business Management), Jermaine Davis (Carpentry), Allistair Cadogan (Electrical Installation), Andre Gomes (Masonry), Jason Damon (Motor Mechanics), Wanda Cox (Plumbing and Sheet Metal) and Kevin Patterson (Welding and Fabrication)
Jamal Philander was awarded the “Most Improved Student”, Zamal Puliah secured the “Most Disciplined” prize and once again Ronessa Roland was mentioned, this time as the “Most Outstanding Student”.
Carpentry graduate Jachin Castro and Business Management graduate Debbie Henrito both of Paruima Village, Region Seven, stated that they enjoyed their courses at the KKTC, in particular, because the centre catered for courses that would facilitate jobs in “areas of demand”.
For Simona Ranny, another Business Management student, she will now be able to “take back” what she learnt into her small village of Kamarang in Region Seven. She explained that the stint was informative and she was able to “do more subjects that weren’t offered before”.
According to Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony, another aim of the KKTC is to ensure that by next year all students attending the Centre will have skills in driving and as such the Ministry has “set aside funds” to acquire a vehicle to conduct the practical aspect in the “motor classes”.
“Persons come in here to learn practical skills not just to get a job but a job within their communities. When they leave here they leave with rounded development”
This is the eleventh such course conducted at the KKTC by the Ministry.
The YEST programme offers continuing educational advancement to youths from across the entire country, who participate in technical vocational skills available, primarily at the Kuru Kuru Training Centre on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway and the Sophia Training Centre in Georgetown.
Training varies, in that there are non-residential and residential courses – some of which are full-time while others are part-time. Some of these last for six (6) months, while others last as long as ten (10) months. It is envisaged to have the programme expanded to include a mobile component which will provide training for youths in communities around the country.
Administrator of KKTC, Jagnarine Somwar, along with Senior Training Officer, Dennis Gillis, gave an overview of the centre and its achievements as well as comparisons with the graduating classes.
Gillis reported that for the academic year September 2010 to 2011, there were 284 trainees drawn from all Regions, 83 of which were females and 201 being males.
A small number did not succeed in graduating in their selected fields yet this did not prevent the others from achieving their goals.
Kaieteur News understands that there have been 1,270 persons who graduated in the YEST programme as at July 2010, and with the batch that graduated yesterday, that figure has now been boosted to 1,506 individuals.
The objectives of the YEST programme is to create specialized manpower, integrate young people into the labour market using entrepreneurial skills training, enable transition from training to production procedures and meet the continuous professional needs which are demanded by the labour market.
All participants benefitted from accessing other supportive services such as peer education and other life skills training, guidance and counselling, free medical facilities, current affairs, health and values education, family visits, payment of a monthly stipend and work attachment.
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