Locals displaced by Covid-19 to benefit from online training programme

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By Carlena Knight

[email protected]

Selected persons in Antigua and Barbuda who have been displaced by the Covid pandemic will be able to benefit from an employability and entrepreneurial training programme.

The free online Covid-19 relief Employability Entrepreneurial Training programme is an initiative put on by the Labour Department in collaboration with the International Labor Organization (ILO), World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), UWI Open Campus, the National Training Agency and the Department of Social Policy and Research and Planning will be launching the programme.

Female heads of single parent households, persons who are currently receiving a social benefit, displaced hospitality and aviation workers, persons aged 18-35 and those over 55 years who are unemployed, persons unemployed for at least three months and persons with disabilities are also among the selected few to be a part of this programme.

It is an historic event, as this is the first time that these United Nations Agencies are collaborating with Antigua and Barbuda to execute such a programme.

A brief opening was held virtually to commemorate the momentous occasion yesterday.

Speaking at the ceremony was Acting Labour Commissioner Pascal Kentish who showed his gratitude for such an event to be happening in the country and also spoke to the importance of such a programme.

“As we all know this pandemic has disrupted the lives of many persons. Many have lost their jobs and some of these jobs will never be regained. It therefore means that these persons will need to find other work. Some, in areas they never dreamt of, others due to their age may never get the opportunity to re-enter the job market but they may still need to earn a living to sustain their families. This entrepreneurship and sustainment program becomes very important for those who may not be able to get a new job. This training may be a catalyst to ignite that fire, that creativity, that go-getter attitude to propel them into something new that is the path of self-employment or to make better employees where when there is a crisis, they will not be the first to be considered for the chopping block,” Kentish said.

“Therefore, we need to lift our caps raise our glasses to the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the other UN agencies who have come forward to execute this program. This assistance is an invaluable gesture and I am sure that the nearly 100 beneficiaries from Antigua and Barbuda will relish in this moment and grab with both hands as this training is being offered free of charge to them.”

Kentish admonished the participants to stay the course.

The 10-week training will be done online using the UWI Open Campus portal and will begin from August 9, 2021.

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