Skills for Youth Employment (SkYE) in partnership with the Dominica Technical Vocational Education Training Council has certified instructors who successfully completed the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) training and recognized the training providers and strategic partners who worked with SkYE.
BTEC Certificate awardees were Matilda Barry-Carty, Julie Ann Charles, Eamon Gibbons, Dian Laronde, Ayana Mitchell, Merkwan Pacquette, Mariana Sanford, Kerry-Ann Remie Timothy, and Bertrand Telemaque.
Appreciation Awards for training providers were given to the Achievement Learning Center (ALC), Adult Education Division (AED), Business Training College (BTC), Center where Adolescents Learn to Love and Serve (CALLS), Dominica Youth Business Trust (DYBT), Kalinago Connections Incorporated (KCI) and Youth Development Division (YDD).
Dominica Association of Industry & Commerce (DAIC) and the Dominica Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council (DTVETC) also received Appreciation Awards as strategic partners.
Team Leader of SkYE Dr. Rosie Lugg expressed that she is really delighted to represent the SkYE team and to express their appreciation for the partnerships that have been delivered via the SkYE programme in Dominica over the past five years.
She stated these partnerships have delivered impressive results for young people in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the country.
“As the SkYE team we have been responsible for managing the training fund which was funded by UK aid and for managing the grants to our programme partners but it is the training providers, the instructors, the community-based organizations, the employers, and the qualification bodies that formed the partnerships that delivered the program activities and achieved the results,” she said.
She noted the results achieved by the SkYE programme across the four countries (Grenada, St Vincent, St Lucia, and Dominica) are impressive stating that 5616 young people have completed training programs and been awarded a certificate that is recognised nationally, regionally, and/or internationally adding that out of almost 600 young people that started a CBQ course funded by SkYE, 77% of them successfully achieved the full qualification.
Additionally, 56% of SkYE graduates are employed after training–almost double the rate of employment before training.
“Many instructors within the training partners have been engaged in professional development activities, different kinds through their organisations’ participation and SkYE, and today we celebrate in particular the achievements of the instructors who will receive their BTEC certificates in inclusive teaching and learning,” Lugg said.
“Projects that were funded by SkYE brought organisations from different parts of the skills ecosystem together into partnership where each partner had expertise in at least one part of a young person’s journey from unemployment into training for certification, work experience, employment and from both the supply and the demand sides of the skills system.”
She said SkYE projects brought together community organisations that work with young people with disabilities in partnership with training providers who want to expand their provision and become more inclusive. It brought together local employers who accepted trainees on internships to gain work experience.
Lugg added that one lesson that she will take away from SkYE and Dominica is the vital importance of partnerships between organisations in building pathways for young people, especially the most disadvantaged.
“I think we probably all agree that funding is one of the main challenges for skills development globally and with additional funds our partners were able to reach over 5000 more young people and to reach more disadvantaged young people who need access to additional services such as transportation costs and stipends if they are going to be able to take up training opportunities that are available in the system.”
Lugg noted that areas where the training providers agreed that SkYE had made a difference to capacity, were in monitoring, evaluation, and reporting.
“I find this interesting because these are the types of capacity that are much more associated with SkYE’s role in the administration of grants than in the technical focus of the grants which was training certification and…employment and perhaps this isn’t surprising because we selected you the training providers and your partners because you already had the core capacity needed to deliver the programme’s results.”
Eighty-four percent of training providers reported improvements to training and assessment with almost half saying that those improvements have been good or considerable and over 80% reporting improvements in governance and management with a significant number noting those improvements having been good or considerable.
Special recognition was also made to SkYE country coordinator, Mr. Jules Pascal for his dedication and support.