Sixteen apprentices, including one young woman, now have the skills to start their own company for the installation and maintenance of air conditioning and refrigeration technology after completing their studies at the National Energy Skills Center (NESC) in Mayaro on March 4th.
Hailing from Mayaro and the surrounding communities, the students learned how to install and maintain air conditioning and refrigerators as well as entrepreneurial skills so they could safely start and run their own service business after graduation.
The 150-hour program provided the students with up-to-date practical and theoretical skills so that they can venture into their own company or find a job in air conditioning and refrigeration technology.
Despite the months-long interruption to the training plan due to COVID-19 restrictions, all 16 participants between the ages of 16 and 35 successfully completed the program.
“We are grateful for our trainers who have invested in us and have given us the confidence to prove our skills. We feel able to work for our families’ needs, ”said Patrice Hernandez, Valedictorian of the class and only female trainee in the program.
Lisa Joseph, Dean of the NESC’s School of Continuing Education, said she was delighted to have a student and valedictorian in the class. “We need women and men to celebrate the accomplishments and leadership of women in the ministry. It’s wonderful to see more women taking part in traditionally male-dominated courses such as air conditioning, refrigeration, welding, drilling, and automotive at the NESC and achieving excellence. As we continue to grow our women, our companies and our country will become stronger, safer and more successful. ”
The NESC offered this training program to participants free of charge through sponsorship from the energy company Perenco T&T. For more than a decade, Perenco (formerly Repsol) and the NESC have worked together to train hundreds of residents in the fence line communities along the southeast coast of Trinidad.