March 28, 2017
The National Training Agency (NTA) is boasting 70 percent employment after participants have acquired a variety of skills for the workforce.
Minister of Labour and National Insurance Shane Gibson addressed the success of the NTA during the graduating ceremony of Cohort 7 on Thursday, March 23, 2017. The disciplines were hospitality, allied health, auto body, office procedures, Microsoft Office/Quick Books and customer service, retail business skills, and teacher's aide.
The exercise brings to approximately 3,000 the number of individuals graduating under the training program since its inception almost four years ago.
"Graduates, you have done well. You have upgraded your skills and earned relevant certification. Use the knowledge and skills you have acquired wisely," Gibson said.
Approximately 70 percent of all NTA graduates have found employment at more than 40 public and private sector companies and organizations across the country.
"Words cannot express how proud I feel to be the minister responsible for this agency of change and second chances," Gibson said.
Established three years and eight months ago, the NTA is touted by the government as the national symbol of excellence. It has provided training and certification for over 3,000 young Bahamians.
Additionally, over the last six months the agency has provided soft skills training associated with several Inter-American Development Bank projects, impacting the lives of an additional 1,200 individuals on New Providence and Grand Bahama.
On July 15, 2013, Prime Minister Perry Christie officially launched the National Training Agency and Cohort 7 became the first group of NTA trainees to receive their certificates and awards in a ceremony at the facility on Gladstone Road, which is designed to accommodate the Mandatory Workforce Preparatory Programme - the signature program of NTA.
"When I reflect on the success of this agency, I often think about how much further along we could have been in our efforts to develop employability skills and reduce youth unemployment if the agency had been established in 2007 as planned.
"We are grateful to have a prime minister who fully supports the work of the NTA and is extremely proud of every one of you for taking full advantage of the training that this agency offers," Gibson said. Christie delivered the keynote address to Cohort 7.
"Graduates, we know that you are going to be successful in work and in life. It is gratifying to know that the investment the government has made in each of you is paying substantial dividends in the form of the many jobs NTA graduates have secured," Gibson said.
Graduates have been employed at Atlantis, One & Only Ocean Club, Sandals, Breezes and the British Colonial Hilton. Baha Mar - which is expected to begin its phased opening in April - has also partnered with NTA in its recruitment drive and it is anticipated that a number of NTA trainees will become Baha Mar employees.
Other businesses and organizations such as Doctors Hospital, the Public Hospitals Authority, the National Insurance Board, Super Value, Solomon's, Diamonds International, Dollar Rent A Car/Quality Auto Sales and Sanpin Motors, have also enabled NTA graduates to pursue their dreams.
"Graduates, the trainees who passed through this program before you are now a significant part of a vibrant and productive Bahamian workforce. I hope that when you join them, you will continue this positive trajectory," Gibson said.
He congratulated the NTA's board of directors, chaired by Elizabeth Keju, Executive Director Agatha Marcelle and the "hardworking, dedicated team" for the success of the program.
"I look forward to the continued growth and development of the agency, especially as it relates to the development of employability skills and the reduction of youth unemployment," Gibson said.
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