Basseterre, St. Kitts – The ELEVATE Programme was officially launched on Thursday (December 21, 2023), during a ceremony at its new offices on the Bay Road, Basseterre. ELEVATE replaces the Alternative Lifestyle Pathway Programme (ALPP) and is designed to positively engage marginalized and at-risk youth and adults, equipping them with technical skills needed to realize their full potential as citizens and partners in nation-building.
Naeemah Hazelle, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), welcomed the guests to the official opening. She indicated that structured elements built into the programme will address the existing challenges faced by the population while creating pathways that lead to increased inclusion in society.
The programme has three phases. Phase one provides participants with training and certification in a range of personal and professional skills such as problem-solving, effective communication, time management, and teamwork. A counselor will be available to work with the participants. Participants will undergo training in technical and vocational skills enhancing their marketability and employability in wide-ranging areas including information technology, construction, agriculture/agro-processing, automotive, healthcare, and other in-demand fields in high-growth industries. How to produce solar panels will be offered at a later date.
Phase two involves contracting for projects. This phase will expose participants to the rules of tendering, as well as how to write projects. Once qualified, the participants will be able to bid for public and private projects.
The third phase covers entrepreneurship. It will allow participants to explore entrepreneurship as a pathway to success. Business ownership training was at the top of the priorities listed by participants of ALPP.
Permanent Secretary Hazelle said that the government is “committed to empowering individuals to build brighter futures for themselves and communities through meaningful employment, entrepreneurship, and personal and professional development.”
“The ELEVATE programme places a strong emphasis on creating opportunities for accountability and growth,” the permanent secretary added. “Participants will be encouraged to take ownership of their actions and actively pursue personal and professional development. … The ELEVATE programme is a testament to the government’s dedication to making a positive impact in the lives of marginalized and at-risk individuals. We are confident that this programme will serve as a catalyst for positive change and open doors to a brighter future for all who participate.”
Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, noted that the ELEVATE training modules were specifically designed based on conversations with the participants. He highlighted that this was one strategy being developed by the Ministry of National Security to reduce antisocial behaviour.
A key component of the overall intervention involves addressing Violence and Crime from a Health Perspective. A task force is being formed to develop this innovative undertaking.