Fourteen students from the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI) received their certificates for participating in the six-week Shielded Metal Arc Welding Course which was conducted at the National Skills Center in Trinidad and Tobago.
The students – 13 males and one lone female – undertook 328 contact hours over the six-week period from Mondays to Saturdays and left the island on the 21st of April. Today, the students received their certification and have been able to secure permanent jobs at some industry partners.
Speaking to the small gathering, Principal of the SJPI Ian Drakes said he promised the students, their parents and guardians, that the students would become certified not only to work in Barbados but in Trinidad as well. He said he was pleased he delivered on that promise.
“You are also marketable beyond Barbados. You will receive a certification that allows you to practice your trade in Trinidad. You have been given the tools this afternoon and the encouragement. The SJPI has shown you, on its 50th anniversary, what is possible when you do not give up. Although our lab is still closed you have been certified, you are very marketable, you have more than all of the students who in the past 49 years would have passed through SJPI,” he said.
Drakes highlighted that the event dubbed a closing ceremony was also the beginning of a partnership as the National Energy Skills Center (NESC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the SJPI.
Chairman of the NESC Wayne Bertrand said the Structural Shielded Metal Arc Welding (SMAW) course was designed by the NESC to teach students the basic welding skills required by both industrial and commercial welding industries.
“To the graduates, the guests of honour, the persons who completed the Structural Shielded Metal Arc Welding Programme, I trust that your experience in Trinidad and Tobago was memorable. As you are a part of NESC, you are a part of our family,” he said.
Bertrand recognized Tre Alleyne who was one of the most outstanding students in the course and also highlighted the lone female Shanice Thompson.
“Your skills, as you hone them, will become your greatest assets. For the persons who receive their certificates today, what happens next is up to you. Whatever you choose to do from today onward should be guided by a plan for a future and a passion. A plan for the future fuelled by a passion for whatever area you want to go in,” he said.
The participants were presented with their certificates as proud parents, guardians and significant others took countless photographs to celebrate the momentous occasion. (LG)