NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A virtual contract signing took place today under the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), between the University of the Bahamas (UB), the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) and the Ministry of National Security to deliver numeracy and literacy and soft skills training to 1,000 at-risk youth over a period of 12 months.
According to a statement by the Ministry of National Security, the partnership intends “to benefit and improve the prospects of at-risk youth” who will undergo “critical skills training intervention to increase employability and employment, thereby assist in decreasing crime and improving lives”. It is part of a four-component plan targeting New Providence youth aged 15 to 29 years.
Minister of National Security Marvin Dames was quoted as saying, “UB’s Numeracy and Literacy training will be a competency-based learning experience that will improve the learner’s basic mathematical, reading and writing capabilities. These core skills are essential for optimal performance in the workforce.
“BTVI’s Soft Skills training will enhance the learner’s ability to thrive in dynamic work environments by instilling vital life skills such as leadership, emotional intelligence, teamwork, responsibility and persistence, to name a few.”
The Bahamas has a longstanding struggle with a skills gap among the population, with a Cabinet minister earlier this year acknowledging that skills training “must be improved on”.
Dames yesterday noted CSJP is a $20 million loan facility funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and executed by the government of The Bahamas through his ministry, to facilitate the continued response to the mandate of contributing to the reduction of crime and violence in the Bahamas.
“Under the brand REVIVE Academy, our goal is to give youth from largely challenging and disadvantaged backgrounds a viable alternative to crime and violence, by providing free training opportunities that will increase their chances of finding and maintaining gainful employment,” he said.
“It is anticipated that at the end of these contracts, 1,000 beneficiaries will successfully graduate from REVIVE Academy through the University of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute. These graduates will have received the necessary training in numeracy and literacy to be competitive in the job market and add value to potential employers.”
Dames said: “It is my sincere desire that these employment-training opportunities and delivery by two of our leading learning institutions in The Bahamas — namely the University of The Bahamas and the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute — will lead to a safer and more productive society.
“I look forward to seeing this desire become a reality in the very near future.”