Wifol makes first venture into technical training

POSTED: 09/22/14 1:29 PM

St. Maarten — A four months technical training program in which participants will be taught repairs of air conditioning, stoves and other appliances that are part of a resort, is being introduced by the training arm of the Wifol as it makes its first venture into technical training.

“We condemn our youth for being unproductive but these are the same youth that can strip and build a motorbike. They are actually talented and skilled. So if that’s where their interest lies why not provide them with training in the technical field?” Wifol, president Theophilus Thompson said on announcing the introduction of the course.

He encourages unemployed persons that are interested in learning these skills and working in these fields, to register and participate in the course, and assured that once this is done the sponsorship for their participation will be secured. Thompson noted that the time share association is “already on board” and willing to work with the union to provide funding these technical courses.

Thompson took the local education system to task for not providing these types of training for the youth as part of their secondary education and for “not equipping local people with skills for the local market.” He added that Wifol had seen this void and has taken steps to address this issue.

The union has been providing academic training for the past months in what it says are part of efforts to strengthen the local job market and help both employers and employees meet their needs. Thompson told members of the media during a WICLU press conference that 90 per cent of the students are employed on completion of training.

He noted that the lecturers of these courses are professionals in their own fields. The union president said he finds it encouraging that other islands are paying attention to the work being done by the Wifol and are interested in stronger partnerships.

“I got a call from the Antigua trade union because they had seen our Facebook page with the programs that we offer and they wanted to know if they can send us some of their members for training,” Thompson added.  He said that talks have been initiated regarding the possibility of students being allowed to travel here for the purpose of training. He is optimistic that the technical program will be similarly well received and urges persons to contact the Wifol office on the pond field for further information.


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