Vocational Training Centre to be renovated |15 September 2021
The Vocational Training Centre (VTC) facility at North East Point will now be renovated, instead of being demolished as first intended.
Clive Roucou, principal secretary in the Family Department, within the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family, made the announcement, following a visit yesterday morning at VTC, which comprises three separate buildings.
“Following the first assessment by the infrastructure department, we thought that we had to pull down the three structures but following a second assessment last month, the buildings have been found to be safe and only the interiors have been found not disabled friendly. So the interiors will be modified or rebuilt into a more disabled friendly facility for the benefit of the students,” PS Roucou said, noting that the second assessment has also resulted in cutting down on expenses.
The vocational centre, which caters for disabled persons aged 15 years old and above, was closed in December 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and following assessments made, it was found that the state of the building was not conducive and disabled friendly for the students to carry on with their vocational training.
The three buildings housing the students include a past sewing sheltered workshop (sewing still being practiced inside among other vocational activities) and past toy production workshop (two separate buildings), that were opened by former first lady and former chairperson for the disabled, Sarah Rene, on December 1, 2000.
There were 32 students at the centre at the time of closure in December 2020 and 27 of them are continuing with their programme in home economics, gardening and in art and design in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Seychelles Institute of Agriculture and Horticulture (SIAH), the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (SIAD) and the private sector.
PS Roucou explained that a high level committee, in place, with representatives from the Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Lands and Housing, the Ministry of Education and from the Family Department, on which he is the chairperson, are working on the renovation plan including re-assessing the centre’s programmes in place to include new programmes for the benefit of the students.
He noted that apart from upgrading the present vocational progammes and courses, namely the arts, sewing, agriculture, wood carving, textile, home economics and sports, among the new programmes the new programmes in consideration includes IT classes and a day care service for 15 years old and above, home based disabled persons not able to follow the centre’s programmes, and the elderly (non disabled).
“The day care service will allow the parents of the disabled and the professionals caring for their elderly, the opportunity to go back and work to contribute for the country and for their own benefit,” PS Roucou added.
He stated that the department will be working closely with the Ministry of Health, which occupies the Rehabilitation Centre, on ways to incorporate health programmes for the benefit of students and clients at the vocational centre.
The high level committee will be meeting this Friday for further discussion on the building plan and programmes for the centre.
He said that work will start on the centre the soonest the plan is validated and approved.
He stated that the idea of the centre is to train the disabled so that they could get a job or work for themselves.