Prime Minister Dr. the Hon Timothy Harris, Minister Hon Eugene Hamilton and PS Osbert DeSuza pose for a group picture with STEP officials and participants outside Mount Carmel Baptist Church.

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- “Showcasing skills; Empowering People for life,” is the theme of a week-long activities to celebrate the second anniversary of the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP). Prime Minister and Minister of People Empowerment, Dr the Hon Timothy Harris, said STEP is uplifting the lives of young people, and has the potential to transform St. Kitts and Nevis. He has asked people on the programme to take their work seriously.

Dr. Harris made the remarks on Feb. 10 at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Bourryeau when he officially launched week-long activities to mark STEP’s second anniversary. He said in keeping with a manifesto promise the Team Unity Administration it was essential to revisit and revamp the People Employment Programme (PEP), to provide a new model of what government felt a successful job training and job creation programme should be.

Due to opportunities provided by STEP in the two years it has been operational, many of the country’s young people are contributing meaningfully to the development of their communities, applying the abilities they have learned.

“We want young people with their strength, with their dreams to do something positive with their lives and that positive thing must be more than just liming at the street corner,” observed the prime minister. “That positive thing must be to put yourself – your energies to constructive life and living so that you can make the place much better for your presence.”

The trainees should be better off for having participated in the STEP and referring to Psalms 18 verse 36 [Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip], Dr Harris said. He expected all of them [STEP participants] to enlarge their capacity for discipline, hard work, teamwork, ingenuity, working together, learning to do, and learning to become the best that they can be.

Advising that money is being spent to keep them on STEP, Dr. Harris implored participants to be conscious of that fact each time and ensure that their behaviour and their conduct on the programme will make people want to encourage the government to continue the programme. The trainees were asked to adhere to the country’s value systems by ensuring a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay.

Present at the worship service were Minister of Agriculture, Health, National Insurance, Human Settlements et al, the Hon Eugene Hamilton; Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Osbert DeSuza, who brought greetings; STEP Director Wendell Wattley, who read from the scriptures; STEP’s Quality Assurance Coordinator/Consultant Emile Greene; STEP Office Manager Mrs. Agatha Caines; office and field staff; and STEP participants.

In declaring the week of activities open, Dr. Harris called on everyone to come out and support activities that have been lined up. “I invite everyone to go out, show solidarity and support to this programme that has done so much. May God bless St. Kitts and Nevis, and all the people of this nation.”

The Beautification Competition will kick off the celebration on Feb. 11. That same day there will be an appearance on Sugar City Radio by the STEP officials and a video feature about the STEP programme will be broadcast on ZIZ TV.

Feb. 12 will feature training day for STEP field officers and supervisors.

Feb. 13, STEP officials will appear on ZIZ Radio for the ‘Working for You’ program.

Feb. 14, STEP staff from both the St. Kitts, and Nevis offices will a Staff Development Day to be facilitated by Dr. Analdo Bailey and Ms. Tamu Browne at the OOJJ Conference Centre in West Basseterre.

Feb. 15 a celebration of the Second Anniversary will be held with a STEP Fair at West Independence Square in Basseterre.