The National Skills Development Centre (NSDC) on Thursday launched a training programme in non-traditional areas for residents of the South East of Saint Lucia.
The initiative has been dubbed – Empowerment of South Eastern Residents Through Training in Non-Traditional Areas or ESERNTA.
“We are excited about it,” NSDC General Manager, Selma St. Prix told the Times.
She explained that persons from Dennery to Choiseul are taking part in the exercise.
St. Prix said that it was not the first time that the NSDC is providing such training.
But she disclosed it is the first time the NSDC is concentrating on those areas to change the lives of people.
“As you know Micoud, Dennery, Mon Repos – we have a lot of poverty in that belt and the last time we concentrated on the West Coast,” St.Prix said.
She stated that the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), the Rotary Club of Saint Lucia and the Saint Lucia Social Development Fund (SSDF) are collaborating with the NSDC to provide the training.
According to St.Prix, the initiative will also make use of the mobile clinic of the Saint Lucia Planned Parenthood Association to assist with testing of residents.
“We look forward to helping those residents change their lives,” she noted.
She said one of the outstanding aspects of the training is cuisine.
“Usually we do culinary arts but we are doing it in a different way this time – we are trying to use mostly local cuisine to do exotic cooking to attract a lot of our tourists,” the NSDC General Manager revealed.
The training programme is targeting one hundred and twelve individuals.
St. Prix said the hope is to alleviate a lot of the unemployment.
As a result, she said that entrepreneurship will be looked at.
“We are not just looking at training them and placing them in jobs – of course that is part of our mandate and what we do, but also we will be looking at entrepreneurship and getting people to start up their own businesses,” St. Prix said.
She said persons can register at the NSDC offices at Vieux Fort, Mon Repos, Choiseul or Castries.