by Donella Hosten
The much talked about New Imani Programme, held its first ever Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) Ceremony on Tuesday, 7 November 2017, with over 350 participants recognised and awarded.
Some participants received CVQ certificates, while others received National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Certificates, based on their various levels of training. This was highlighted by Theresa Charles, representing the Grenada National Training Agency (GNTA), who reminded them that the NTA has a mandate to adhere to; which is to develop a regional workforce that is capable of being productive and enhance the profitability of our businesses. Therefore, the NTA needs to ensure that persons are well trained using specific standards.
Also addressing the gathering at the Grenada Youth Centre, was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth, Kevin Andall, who described the inaugural event as very ‘emotional,’ as he has seen the what the New Imani Programme has produced in terms of competency-based training.
Andall told the participants that the CVQ will signal to any employer within the CARICOM nations that they are competent. “It is more about what you can do…putting what you know into action,” he urged. “Having your CVQ is much more than a piece of paper in your hand…it’s about you; who you are…”
He praised the New IMANI programme, saying that is has paved the way for many to have skills that can be used to push themselves forward. “When you think of the Imani programme, think about one word: transformation; taking you from point A to point B.”
He believes too that this step has taken Grenada closer to islands such as Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados, who have already implemented the CVQ training. “We can testify in Grenada, that we have a thriving industry in regards to technical and vocational education.”
In addition to congratulating the participants of the programme, he congratulated the staff of the NTA for their commitment to the cause. “The decision you make now will affect your lives forever,” he said as he urged them to continue to develop themselves and maximise the opportunities given to them.
Senator Pamela Moses extended her sincerest congratulations to the participants and confirmed her Government’s commitment to youth development in Grenada. “This government is committed to the development of its youth.” Additionally, Senator Moses stated, even though it cost the government $3,000 per person, the government will remain firm in its commitment. “We’re going to ensure that every trainee gets 1 or 2 CVQs.
She continued, “This is still just a small drop in the bucket.” Reminding them that some went through a lot to get this achievement, she said, “You knew what you were aiming for,” and their hard work, determination and commitment paid off.