Avon Carty, Stanley Reid and Ronya Connor.

ANGUILLA--“We are excited to introduce the beginning of a process designed to introduce a new programme focused on offering training and mentorship to Anguilla’s female population,” said Avon Carty, Senior Programme Officer, Department of Youth and Culture. She said the programme is for those who want to learn skills that will enable them to be employed within the numerous diverse employment areas associated with the construction field, a field which has historically been a very male-dominated area in Anguilla.

On Tuesday, August 21, Carty along with Gender Development Coordinator in the Ministry of Social Development, Ronya Foy Connor and Consultant with SER Legal and Consultancy Services, Stanley Reid met with members of the press to announce the programme and offer details.

The Women in Construction Apprenticeship Programme is funded through the Overseas Countries and Territories Association (OCTA), an innovation think tank committed to best outcomes in island states in the Atlantic and South Pacific. Its overall objective is to enhance sustainable development through innovative solutions for economic diversification and to improve regional and global competitiveness of the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). Associated with the European Union (EU), the OCTs comprise 25 islands, of which Anguilla is one. The programme’s dual focus is to preserve the island’s building culture and encourage women’s participation/inclusion in the construction sector.

The programme is intended to establish an apprenticeship system for women ages 16 and over, which will facilitate the involvement of women in the construction industry. It will cater to women who wish to pursue a career in the construction industry; to have further opportunity for employment during Anguilla’s slow season; or simply to empower themselves in an area which involves unique or unconventional skill sets for the majority of women.

It will include a component of structured training and theory in addition to the practical hands-on training. Carty said the committee spearheading this initiative realised there were numerous community partners and stakeholders – such as contractors, construction workers and education establishments such as the Anguilla Community College and the University of the West Indies – whose involvement in the programme design and execution would be key to ensuring successful outcomes. The Anguillian community will continue to receive updated information as the training programme matures.