By Monique Washington
“The Government will invest and continue to invest in opportunities where jobs are created,” Premier of Nevis Hon. Vance Amory said during his featured address at the 10th Annual Consultation on the Economy on Thursday at the Nevis Performing Art Centre Amory (NPACA). The event’s theme was “Revitalization of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship.”
“The Government has an important role to play in the revitalization of skills development and entrepreneurship and plans to do so,”the Premier said. “We will provide opportunities for self-employment, for earning of foreign exchange and to generally improve living standards.”
“We will also continue to focus on human resource development,” Premier Amory said. “This will provide opportunities for people to live healthy lifestyles,take part in decision-making through consultations and public forums.”
The Premier pointed out that in larger countries, technology has had a large impact on low- to middle-class families.
“In many countries of the world,includingdeveloped countries, the rapid advance of technology is displacing both low and middle income jobs,” Amory said. “Robots and computers are replacing people in the workplace thus contributing to unemployment in those countries. We are not yet at that stage, we need to make sure that we equip our young people. Wewill equip our work force to become more productive and to make sure that they are able to add value to the economic space where they find themselves.”
He said the Education Department has made a major shift “in how we educate our children” and revealed as part of education reform the introduction of the TVEC program in the schools is a way to expose all students to ‘some kind of practical work atschool.”
“Students can becomeinvolved in fashion-design, making dresses that they design and even if they have to import the raw material, we can create, here on Nevis, an industry in response to the fact that people will need clothing,” he said.
In addition to the TVEC program,Amory said there will be a wide range of training in hospitality, culinary arts, air conditioning and refrigeration,agriculture,science,welding, foodpreparation, landscaping, bee keeping, cosmetology, accounting and building construction.
“Even as the government thinks about putting these programs in place,we need to have a shift in the way our people think,” Amory said. This includes the way they act. We will need a new attitudinal changes so that what we are offering in terms of training and education will be readily accepted and seen as being beneficial so when employment opportunities arises in these areas we do not always have to look outside,” he said.