Government embarks on Apprenticeship Initiative

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The BVI Government is planning another youth employment initiative, this time job training is being added as a component. The announcement was made during the 16 February NDP radio program.

During the broadcast, Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn announced that a six months apprenticeship initiative was in the pipeline. According to Hon. Walwyn the program, which is being facilitated as a means of providing employment and training for youths, will be a partnership project.

In his explanation of the project, Hon. Walwyn said: “Our aim is for persons to get apprenticeship with an established business, with the government partnering with the business. The government pays half of the salary and the businessperson pays half of the salary.”

The Minister disclosed that he is hopeful that at the end the program the apprentices will be awarded with fulltime jobs and another batch of youths would be able to benefit from the initiative: “We intend to run the programme for about six months with the view that at the end of six months after we prepare the young people for the jobs, that the business community will be able to hire them. And then that money we will take and go back and help another set of young persons again,” Hon. Walwyn stated.

Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith who was also a panellist on Monday’s program endorsed the apprenticeship plan. In fact, Hon. Smith referred to the program as an initiative that is very important to the Territory’s youths. He said: “It’s an extremely important programme. It’s to help with the development of particularly young people in the territory, and I know it will work because I have seen it work.”

Hon. Smith added: “I have been engaged with a few business people who have employed young people on that same basis where we were able to give them a stipend, and at least 50 percent of those persons have continued in jobs after the period of apprenticeship. That is possible; that is positive.”

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