Leather-craft workshop sharpens artisan’s skills

Leather-class students in the five-day workshop.
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BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — A week-long leather-craft training workshop is now being held by the Ministry of Tourism at the Newtown Community Centre. The goal of the workshop is to advance development and integration of creative products using leather and providing technical support for leather-crafters.

At the opening ceremony for the Sept, 10 to 14 workshop, Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Lindsay Grant, said the government is focused on the holistic development of citizens and the tourism product. He said the government will continue to explore multiple avenues through which livelihoods can be enhanced, human capacity can be strengthened and the tourism sector workforce and people in general can be prepared to be true ambassadors.

“The main objectives of this workshop are to provide technical assistance and help local artisans hone related business skillsets so they can consistently and constantly deliver excellent service and local products to visitors and to your fellow citizens.

“We are fully invested in the workshop’s implementation, which is designed to sharpen the skills of artisans involved in the leather craft,” Grant explained. “There is no doubt there is a strong need for authentic, unique and very well made and reasonably priced local craft. These workshops provide additional dimensions that sharpen artisan’s competitive edge and add to our appeal as a destination that is proud of our culture and of our heritage.”

At the end of the workshop, the top five participants will be selected to travel to Colombia. They will attend a two-week internship scholarship programme in Colombia covered by the SENA Training Institute. The internship programme will cover airfare, accommodation, meals, medical card, a translator and transportation.

“This of course is a win-win opportunity for you,” Minister Grant said to the participants. “A free workshop and free internship and five lucky candidates will have an opportunity to participate in apprentice training and visit various industrial leather companies with contemporary products.”

The minister encouraged participants to do their best to distinguish themselves, to be keen learners and to give their utmost to apply the skills shared at the workshop.

“Do all you can to take advantage of this very great opportunity to improve your production and marketing skills and to leave your facilitators with fond memories of their brief stay with us,” he suggested.

The workshop was organized by Sharleen Welcome in the Ministry of Tourism and Shelisa Davis of the Craft House. Minister Grant said that they worked diligently and tirelessly to bring the workshop into fruition.

The workshop is being facilitated by the SENA Training Institute in Colombia.

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