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Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 14, 2019 (SKNIS): Education and training opportunities continue to be at the forefront for St. Kitts and Nevis. Against this backdrop, an Agreement on Cooperation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), was signed between the Governments of St. Kitts and Nevis and the Republic of China (ROC) (Taiwan) in a brief but meaningful ceremony on Sunday, July 14 at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable Shawn Richards, signed the agreement along with Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. the Honourable Jaushieh Wu, to assist St. Kitts and Nevis with cultivating vocational education teachers, establishing a comprehensive vocational education system, and providing high school graduates with professional skills.

In an interview with ZIZ radio and Television, Minister Richards noted that the “signing speaks more or less to building capacity within St. Kitts and Nevis relative to TVET”.

“Therefore, it means that Taiwan is willing to send experts in the field of TVET to the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis to provide training whether it is to students or to train persons to be able to deliver technical, vocational and education training to citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said the education minister. “Additionally, we can also send persons to Taiwan to receive training in that particularly area of development.”

Minister Richards spoke about the TVET enhancement project that St. Kitts and Nevis is currency pursuing, noting that it is mainly sponsored by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) “to the tune of some USD 20 million.”

“So, in terms of what we have signed here, it fits right in in terms of the thrust of the government to ensure that we have persons who are competently trained because we recognize that in terms of the development, the economy of St. Kitts and Nevis, we need to have more persons trained in those particular skilled areas,” said Minister Richards.

The signing, which was witnessed by the President of the ROC, Her Excellency (H.E.) Dr. Tsai Ing-wen; Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris; and other dignitaries, formed part of the president’s official State Visit to St. Kitts and Nevis and other diplomatic allies in the Caribbean which commenced on July 13.

With this agreement in place, St. Kitts and Nevis and Taiwan are expected to collaborate in the fields of technical and vocational education and training. Where education is concerned, the two sides will plan and implement projects to cultivate human resources for mid–to long-term industry development, provide resources that help students prepare for professional work, and create educational frameworks. On the training aspect, the two sides will plan and implement projects to cultivate human resources for short- to mid-term needs, enhance the skills of people who are about to join or are already part of the workforce, and elevate the overall quality and productivity of the workforce.

The signing symbolized the strengthened relations between both countries. It was attended by  Members of Cabinet, senior government officials, members of Diplomatic and Consular Corps, specially invited guests, members of the president’s delegation and the media.

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