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May 24, 2012

ITVET students show off their trades in Annual Open House

At the ITVET on Freetown Road, over two hundred students showed off their expertise and products at the annual Open Day. The participants are hoping that their new skills will either open doors for them in the limited job market or better yet, that they can become their own bosses. From cosmetology to hospitality or plumbing, they are turning their skills into careers. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Trainees at the ITVET in the Belize District today held their annual open day to exhibit the products and services that they offer. There are over two hundred enrolled in training programmes. Manager of the institution, Kenroy Ellis, says that not only have the students demonstrated great craftsmanship but their skills have also created opportunities for themselves:

 

Kenroy Ellis, Manager, ITVET

Kenroy Ellis

“We have expressed interest from the Black Chamber of Commerce in Houston. We had a visit from them last month and they are interested in running a program through ITVET Belize in hair replacement. As you know a number of persons are coming down with cancer and hair replacement is something that will certainly assist these patients.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So apart from the school getting opportunities for the students, they can also look into different markets for themselves; they can also make a living for their families out of the training that they have acquired here?”

 

Kenroy Ellis

“Yes, definitely and one of the support programs that we offer is small business or entrepreneurship so each student must do entrepreneurship because it is a way to tell the trainees that if there isn’t an opportunity out there to get job, there is also  the option of owning your own small business.”

 

Sharon Tillett

Sharon Tillett, the Cosmetology Instructor says the in-house salon is open to the public and customers can expect great service because the trainees undergo comprehensive training:

 

Sharon Tillett, Cosmetology Instructor

“We were displaying the hairstyles, the cuts, the wigs they are doing. We run a night program and a summer program. They learn how to do manicures; pedicures; facials; acrylics; haircuts; colors. We are open to the public for a smaller fee than the salons. If you notice we use quality products, good service and we try to stay with guidelines.”

 

The trainees in the Hospitality Services Programme also showcased the services and products with creativity and flair:

 

Eugustavia Galvez

Eugustavia Galvez: Hospitality/Food Prep Trainee

“We get a lot of catering and we do a lot of function so we gain a lot of experience and the most important thing which is credibility and people recommend us for a lot of things; they call us for jobs and they even offer us a job and we aren’t finished school yet.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So the opportunities for you in the future look very bright?”

 

Eugustavia Galvez

“Yes, very, very bright.”

 

Beverly Brown

Beverly Brown, Hospitality Services Instructor

“We have our trainees who do waitering and we do functions so we charge a nominal fee for that; our trainees have been going out in the industry do that a lot but we would like more because it helps them with their expenses. The money goes directly to the trainees.”

 

Jehan Gillett, who now works in the hospitality industry in Belize, is one of ITVET’s many success stories. She says if she did it, anyone can:

 

Jehan Gillett, Dining Room Supervisor, Celebrity Restaurant

Jehan Gillett

“I think it’s a very good investment. When I came back to Belize I didn’t know what to do and I signed up for ITVET, which was CET at the time and I did the programme. They gave me so many skills that I could’ve used out there in getting a job. I love what I do and anyone out there who isn’t book smart then, I think this is a wonderful place to come and get your skills, your training and one day you can become your own business owner; which is something I am looking to doing in the future.”

 

The trainees in the a/c refrigeration repair, electrical, plumbing and building maintenance also exhibited their work. Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

 

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