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May 25, 2016

Skills Training Center Showcases Talented Young Students

Over four hundred students have been graduated from the Skill Training Center in Belize City since its inception in 2012. There has been a fifty percent success rate so far with students working at the various utility companies and in the hospitality industry.  It is with that achievement and overall feeling of confidence that an open day was held at the facilities on Magazine Road today. Duane Moody was there and has this story.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

In January of 2012, an education facility on Magazine Road was officially opened. Skills Training Center is the brainchild of Minister of Education Patrick Faber and sought youths between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, who dropped out of school, and needed to learn a discipline. The center aims to empower its students by providing them with employable skills, in five different areas. On the occasion of officially unveiling its mission and vision statement, an open day was held at the facility.

 

Enid Oshon

Enid Oshon, Manager, Skills Training Center

“We are having an open day to sensitize the community and Belize City at large of the different programs that we offer. We opened our doors in January of 2012 and we have served over four hundred students thus far. We have completed four cycles; this is our fifth cycle and we have five skill areas in which a student can enroll. We have the front office/hospitality, barbering, art, arts and craft and PC repair.”

 

The goal is to provide trainees with skills training, basic competency in numeracy and literacy standards and other educational opportunities for entry levels into the world of work, self actualization and to become contributing members of their communities and country. Upon completion of the program, the students are transitioned either back into the formal education system or into the world of work.

 

Jariesha Tablada

Jariesha Tablada, Student, Hospitality Program

“I am learning about different career opportunities, room status, features of telephone and different things about tourism.”

 

Victor Jones

Victor Jones, Student, Arts Program

“From the age of fourteen I started off when I was in standard six when I started to draw. I thought I could draw humans so I take humans and took pictures and drew the pictures. One day I looked at myself and said to my mom that I wanted to develop more in arts. I meet up with my teacher, Mister Brad Steadman, and he was someone who opened my eyes some more because the art that I saw at the school for the starting; I was like if students who left the school can do that, then so can I.”

 

Barbering is a trade that can be easily turned into an entrepreneurial venture and fifteen-year-old Kenneth Dixon has his eyes on the prize. He says it is not an easy task, but he’s willing to do what it takes to become successful.

 

Kenneth Dixon, Student, Barbering Program

“Since I came here, it’s been great. I didn’t know much about barbering, but my teacher Mister Baptist taught me everything I know. Now I know to do the basic tape, skin-tape, fade.”

 

Kenneth Dixon

Duane Moody

“Where do you see yourself going at fifteen, learning this skill and going out into the world?”

 

Kenneth Dixon

“Well hopefully finish college and open my own barbershop eventually and have some other people work with me and I’ll be the boss and thing, but I’ll still be in there cutting hair same way.”

 

Technology is used across public and private sectors and computer technicians are in demand. That is what prompted twenty-year-old Ian Rodriguez to join the IT Program at the facility.

 

Ian Rodriguez

Ian Rodriguez, Student, PC Repair Program

“I can take down and put back a computer; I can find out what is wrong, troubleshoot; I can reinstall a hard drive, optical drive and CPU. I can do many more.”

 

Duane Moody

“So you are ready for the workforce?”

 

Ian Rodriguez

“Yes sir, I’m very prepared.”

 

But the center is not limited to dropouts. Adults, especially women, who would like to learn a trade in sewing or the like can take advantage of the programs offered at the institution.

 

Michelle Garbutt, Student, Sewing/Arts and Craft Program

“For me, we learn to do sewing. I didn’t know anything about the machine when I came; I just know that they had a sewing machine and I didn’t know anything about it. We learn to cut, we learn to measure, we learn to make simply materials from just a plain cloth, we turn it into excellent ideas. We do bed sheets, curtains; we do the small fitting for the bed.”

Michelle Garbutt

Duane Moody

“How do you take what you’ve learnt and use it to benefit you and your family?”

 

Michelle Garbutt

“Okay well that would be excellent. I have two daughters; both of them are going to Canaan. That will help me to sew uniforms because you know today’s day it is very expensive for uniforms and that will help me.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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