The National Training Agency will soon be engaged in providing evaluation services for Call for Proposals and CVQ certification for the recently launched Climate Smart Agriculture and Rural Enterprise Programme (SAEP).
The Prrogramme which was launched at Belmont Estate is aimed at reducing poverty by increasing income flow in rural communities. It will address two main vulnerabilities in Grenada: the high levels of youth unemployment and the high exposure of agricultural production to climate change and variability. The intention of component one of the project which includes vocational education and training is to build the capacity of underemployed and unemployed youth between the ages of 16 and 35 to provide support to the agricultural sector. The skills training areas will focus on agro-processing eco and edu-tourism, wellness, renewable energy sources and their maintenance, repair services and information communication technology. The component, will also provide technical support for business development and matching financial grants for start-up businesses.
Six hundred and forty thousand US dollars ($640,000US) of the $13 million US dollar project has been budgeted to train four hundred young people in technical and vocational training during the six-year lifespan of the project.
The Project has identified that at the root of prevailing high poverty rates and rural unemployment are a lack of skills, qualifications, and the experience required by employers. Besides vocational training, trainees will undertake apprenticeships and job placements. This is expected to increase their chances in seeking employment. CVQs demonstrate competence according to regional occupational standards and allow for greater mobility in finding work within other CARICOM countries.
Other outcomes of component one of the project are the creation of 120 rural enterprises, and 400 new jobs with 80 as a result of technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
The SAEP Project funded in part by IFAD (the International Fund for Agriculture Development) replaces MAREP (The Market Access and Rural Enterprise Programme) which closed in March following the final graduation exercise in which 159 young persons were granted CVQ/NVQ certification in eight (8) occupational areas including Housekeeping, Food Preparation and Cookery, General Construction, General Agriculture, Bartending, Customer Service and Printing and Graphic Arts. A total of 679 young people was trained in 28 programme offerings during the lifespan of the Project and are now more employable with 186 finding permanent employment.