The local initiative to produce skilled tradespersons who are globally-competitive achieved a historic milestone last week (February 28) when the 17th annual training initiative offered by the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) and LNG producer Atlantic graduated 87 young people from Point Fortin and environs – the programme’s second largest cohort to date.
Joining an additional 85 recipients from other NESC programmes, the participants of the Atlantic/NESC initiative received their Craftsmen certificates at a special graduation event held at the NESC’s St Madeleine campus.
Toni Sirju-Ramnarine, Vice President Corporate Operations, Atlantic congratulated the graduates on their focus and hard work and reminded them that nothing great – including their careers – could be built in a day.
“Maybe you can become your own entrepreneur and start your own business using the skills you have learnt,” Sirju-Ramnarine said. “Alternatively, perhaps you can partner with your fellow graduates to form a business providing a combination of the services you just equipped yourselves with. At Atlantic we believe in entrepreneurship and building capacity in communities.”
Sirju-Ramnarine also challenged young people to be innovative and forward-looking, seeking business opportunities outside of Trinidad and Tobago. “You are skilled enough to look beyond our borders and confident enough to look for opportunities that allow you to combine your newly learnt skills; and digital savvy enough with technology to find and fill gaps in the marketplace. In so doing you will advance your careers, even if the path you take seems unconventional.”
Among the 87 – who completed courses in Pipefitting and Fabrication, Microsoft Word, Digital Literacy and newly introduced classes in Valves and Valves Servicing and Installation – were five (5) students who were awarded ‘Most Outstanding’ in their respective classes for achieving top scores on the programme: Tieon Charles (Digital Literacy); Keron Passe (Microsoft Word 2013); Kelon Scott (Introduction to Pipe Fitting and Fabrication); Randy Ramkhelawan and Omarie Lewis (Valves and Valve Servicing Installation).
Dr. The Honourable Lovell Francis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Member of Parliament for the Moruga/Tableland Constituency delivered the event’s feature address. Other speakers included Mr. Wayne Bertrand, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the NESC; and Mr. Kern Dass President, NESC.
The Atlantic/National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) Skills Training Programme was established in 2000 and aims to develop highly-skilled technical persons and help create opportunities for graduates to access employment or entrepreneurial opportunities. Atlantic subsidizes the full cost of the programme which includes tuition and material fees for all participants at the NESC Point Fortin Centre. To date, 863 graduates of the Atlantic-sponsored Programme have been trained in trades including plumbing, masonry, electrical installation and air conditioning installation.</p