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JIS News

Employees of the St. Ann Parish Council have been equipped with new skills in a number of vocational areas, having participated in training courses offered under the second public sector memorandum of understanding.
Director of Administration at the St. Ann Parish Council, Claudiah Carter, told JIS News that 35 employees participated in the six-week training programme, which was organized by the Public Sector Reform Unit (PSRU).
The courses offered included drapery making, garment construction, customer service, food and beverage, housekeeping, cake baking, basic computing and tiling, she informed, noting that the participants benefited tremendously.
Cynthia Gallimore Henry, who participated in the computer course, said the training was “enlightening and enriching”.
The 52-year old grandmother, who is a messenger in the Roads and Works Department, told JIS News that: “I chose the computer course because I did not know anything about computers and with everything in this day and age, people are going the computer way, so I decided that I would take the course and at least have an understanding of what is taking place in the computer world.”
She indicated that the course was challenging at first but things took a positive turn as she continued to attend the classes. She boasted that she is now able to help her grandson with his homework and provide him with valuable information for his computer lessons at school.
“I am 52 years old and I have no regrets that I did the course and I would encourage anybody at my age, who doesn’t have the basic computer skills, to get involved in the MOU programme because it is good,” she said.
Another beneficiary is secretary, Keisha Schooler, who, with the new skills she learnt in drapery making, said she will be making curtains for herself and her relatives.
“I must admit that at the beginning of the course I was a bit timid seeing that I had no prior experience in the field but as the course progressed I was able to make different styles of valance and I was also able, at the end of the course, to actually make my own shower curtain,” she told JIS News.
The training, she noted, has given her a sense of satisfaction, and she now feels competent enough to make curtains for herself and others including her family members. “There is a sense of satisfaction seeing that I had no skill only that of my typing, but I am now able to say that I have acquired a new skill and that of drapery making,” she boasted.
Secretary in the Accounts Department, Hilary Dacosta, who selected the food and beverage course, said she wanted to try something new and different from what her job at the Council required.
She said that she grasped a lot from the course, which was offered at the Runaway Bay HEART Hotel and Training Institute, and has been using her new skill in her home.
“What I have learnt has come in real handy in that whenever I have parties or socials, I try to utilize my new skill. I was even able to help my niece prepare for the CXC (Caribbean Examination Council) food and beverage exams by showing her the correct way to set a table for lunch,” she informs.
Meanwhile, Delomore McBean, who is also a secretary in the Accounts Department, told JIS News that with the skill she leant while participating in the cake baking and decorating course, she was able to teach her brother a new flaky pastry technique.
“I have been assisting my brother, who does cake baking and decorating for a living,” she said.
The MOU training programme, she points out, “is a wonderful thing,” as it equips public sector workers with new skills, which will be of benefit to them in the future.