Junior Co-ops Members Undergo Management Training
By R. Wilson
Participants at co-op management training course
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Mar. 16 -- Those charged with running Junior Savings Co-operatives and the St. Kitts School Apex Co-op have undergone management training to improve the organisations’ effectiveness and profitability.

Approximately thirty teachers’ guides and School Apex management members attended the one-day management course on Wednesday (March 13) at the NEMA Building. The course was facilitated by Ralph Wharton of the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions.

Registrar of the Department of Cooperatives Clyde Thompson told The Observer the management course came about after an assessment of the various Junior Savings in schools and the School Apex Co-op showed that not all were profitable. He attributed the non-profitability to poor management.

“The reason for this course is to ensure our co-operatives are properly managed and comply with the Co-operatives Societies Act 2011. What we have realized over the years is that some co-operatives have done quite well because they are properly managed while others have not done so well.

“So we are trying to work with every co-operative to make sure they are properly managed and bring some level of profitability so that members receive benefits from their investment,” he explained.

He said although co-operatives were not created primarily to make a profit, since the members invest money and are the owners, they must manage it to bring desired success.

Minister for Co-Operatives Hon. Senator Nigel Carty addressed the group telling the participants they were responsible for incorporating children into the world of co-ops and it would only enhance young persons’ skills in entrepreneurship. He said it was important for children to understand how a business was run and thus the need for the school co-ops to have monthly and annual general meetings, and keep proper accounts and mandatory maintenance of records.

“Effective co-operative management is highly essential. A co-op is a business owned and managed by its members and must be properly managed.”

Sen. Carty pointed out that for any co-op to be successful each member must contribute and all must work together to achieve the collective goals and objectives.

“A co-operative is a group affair; it’s a “we” thing. It’s an enterprise that runs on team efforts and, as any team effort, for any cooperative to be successful all members must be committed to the goals and objectives of the organisation,” he said.

He too pointed out that one of the key aspects of co-ops and their management is compliance with the law. “We speak of the C-operatives Societies Act 2011…a set of rules and laws governing the societies… and the reason these are important is that they help to protect the interest of all involved, members and shareholders. There are some key mandates which cooperative societies must take note of.”

Minister Carty stressed that part of the core objective of the training was to build strong, well-managed and compliant cooperative societies that will work in the interest of their members and work to contribute to the development of the country.

On Tuesday the Dieppe Bay Fishermen’s Co-op and Fahie’s Agriculture Women Co-op were the beneficiaries of similar training. On Thursday the Sandy Point Agricultural Co-op, Sandy Point and Old Road Fishermen’s Co-ops, Gideon Force Agriculture Co-op also received management training and technical support from the Department.