Tackling youth unemployment in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

In St. Vincent and the Grenadines, one in four young people between 18 and 29 years is unemployed.

On Friday, October 9, 66 of them improved their chances of finding jobs and starting their own businesses, when they graduated from a vocational skills training programme funded by the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).

The initial cohort of youths—54 males and 12 females—come from rural and inner city communities across St. Vincent and the Grenadines.


In St. Vincent, 66 young people improved their chances of finding jobs and starting their own businesses when they graduated from a vocational skills training programme funded by CDB’s Basic Needs Trust Fund on October 9, 2015.


For four weeks, they participated in training at the Division of Technical and Vocation Education of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Community College. The course options included air conditioning and refrigeration, electrical installation and small engines repair, and count towards National Vocational Qualification Level 1 certification. Each student benefitted from a two-week apprenticeship and received a startup toolkit at the graduation ceremony.


Nigel Blair, Operations Officer (Civil Engineer), BNTF, CDB, presents a graduate with a startup toolkit during the ceremony in St. Vincent on October 9, 2015. Each student received a kit to help them get started on their career path.

Nigel Blair, Operations Officer (Civil Engineer), BNTF, CDB, presents a graduate with a startup toolkit during the ceremony in St. Vincent on October 9, 2015. Each student received a kit to help them get started on their career path.


CDB has contributed USD142,500 in funding to the vocational skills training programme; the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, USD7,500. Support for the initiative was also boosted by in-kind contributions from the community.

The training was delivered in partnership with the Rural Transformation Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture.

A new cohort is scheduled to begin training in the third quarter of 2016.


Darran Newman, Portfolio Manager, BNTF, CDB, presents a graduate with his certificate during the ceremony on October 9, 2015 in St. Vincent.

Darran Newman, Portfolio Manager, BNTF, CDB, presents a graduate with his certificate during the ceremony on October 9, 2015 in St. Vincent.