Spencer, who was tasked to deliver a response on behalf of the awardees from the school on Thursday, November 19, 2020, stated that attaining his Caribbean Vocational Qualification certificate was not easy.
The ceremony was for the academic years 2018/2019, and 2019/2020 and students received their certificates in cosmetology, motor vehicle repairs, food and beverage/bar tendering and commercial food preparation.
“The path that I can say I was on before even coming to this school, it was not a right path, but this school molded me, molded my peers and molded each and every one of us to even set foot on the path to becoming great,” he declared.
“I take it as a privilege for my customer service teacher to even say that this is the future premier. I encourage each and every one of us to be exactly what you want to be, don’t mind the talk, they tell you, don’t do hair, how you can do nails? Do it the best you can be, be the best you can be,” he added.
Deputy Premier Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has said the Virgin Islands School of Technical Studies (VISTS) has a critical role to play in churning out persons to take up certain jobs in the Territory.
Also addressing the students, Deputy Premier Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) said: “In the past, it would be common place for persons such as yourselves to go to the government and say, “I want a job”, and sometimes persons got jobs regardless of qualifications, that’s not the situation today.”
However, “The Premier and Minister of Finance is telling you, we cannot employ more persons, we cannot grow what is called the recurrent expenditure which includes salaries and the operations of government. We just can’t do it anymore, so all of the young persons who are coming out of schools, where is it that they will be employed? We need jobs, and that’s why this institution and technical vocational education is at the forefront of the present and future economy of the Virgin Islands. It is of extreme importance.”
He pointed out that in the past 20, 30 years the territory was importing skilled labour but now is time for young persons to be trained in those fields such as plumbing, electricals etcetera.
“You are trailblazers, you have to be at the forefront of the fight for employment in our economy in the private sector. You have to encourage your friends and family to join that fight, and you can be a wonderful example to persons here. So I congratulate you on your accomplishment today, and I push you to keep going, of course many of you can enter into the job market but take your education as far as you can take them because you are not just thinking small, you are not just thinking that you want to be on the bottom tier of employment, you want to be leaders,” he stated.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.