By John Denny Observer Reporter
(Charlestown, Nevis) ” In an effort to better prepare students for the working world, Social Services has been assigning students to work with a number of local businesses. Eustace Hunkins has two such summer attachments for his carpentry shop, Greciano Morrison and Fiona Aulder. “We consider this a training academy,” said Mr. Hunkins. “We have been doing this for 30 years. One person we trained has been working here for 15 years and is now a shop foreman.” Tuesday Online Code for Issue # 722 is 2AG Apprentice Morrison, who is originally from Jamaica, said he likes the job, but plans to continue his education. “I would like to return to Jamaica and study to become an architect,” he said. Mr. Hunkins is supportive of his young apprentices and encourages them to stay in school, but he also says there is nothing wrong with wanting to be a craftsman. “All young people want a job that is inside an air conditioned office, but if everyone becomes an architect, who is going to build the houses and the furniture,” he said. “Wood working is increasingly becoming a more technical field requiring specialized training. With less people wanting to do it, the demand for skilled workers becomes more valuable.” Mr. Hunkins is also in the funeral business, so in addition to wood work, glass repair and making furniture, they also build coffins and finish caskets. “A lot of the students that come here to work don’t even want to touch a coffin or a casket,” he said. “They are scared of them. I don’t know why, it’s just a box.” His first female apprentice, Miss Aulder has no such reservations about working on caskets or coffins. She took a break from finishing the interior of a casket to answer a few questions. “I have been here about a month and I really like the work,” she said “When I finish (the attachment) I would like to continue working here.” Even though she wants to continue working in Mr. Hunkins” shop, she would like to continue her education, not only in wood work, but also in mortuary science. Mr. Hunkins is very pleased with Fiona’s attitude and work ethic. “She isn’t afraid to do anything around here, in fact she wants to do it all. Anything she is asked to do, she jumps right in and does it,” he said. “Fiona has the energy I like to see in a summer attachment. She likes to build, sand, finish and paint. She is a good example to other girls. So many girls think they can’t do work like this and they don’t know that they could be making a good living doing a job that people need.”