An opposition politician has identified what he says is a “need to deploy rapid acceleration of training in technology for jobs and wealth creation”.
Benjamin “Ben” Exeter of the New Democratic Party (NDP) is calling for the refurbishment of the “shuttered” resource centres to expose, particularly the young, “to understanding and learning technological solutions that will enhance productivity and their lives in general.
Exeter, an information technology expert, called for special emphasis on technology as it “relates to learning and training, and evolving work-at-home solutions; or as tools in the support of the many productive areas, including small business operations, fishing and agriculture and provide training in trades, small business management and the arts”.
He told the NDP virtual public meeting on Sept. 17 that a sound studio designed to train and produce talent would provide opportunities in creative services, such as audio technicians, producers, writers, and singers.
“And when our people are trained, let’s connect them to mentors,” said Exeter, who is making his second bid to become MP for Central Leeward.
“Let’s utilise technology to open up to our Vincentian diaspora to do virtual mentoring, as well as with mentors here on island. We have a wealth of Vincentian knowledge all over the world, ready to share with our young people. Ready to work with the NDP to empower young minds,” Exeter said.
“Our plan is a Vincy first plan. One that is people powered — powered by you — your will, your desire for more and your determination for a better future for you and your family. This is your chance; dream big. Go hard. Make a difference.”
‘Empowerment and transformation’
Exeter said that with the general elections, constituents “have a chance to right the wrongs”.
“We have a chance to undo the wrongs of others.
We have a chance to create a better community in which we can all flourish. A better community means micro and small business growth, jobs and wealth creation.
“A better community means access to proper playing fields that can help to produce professional footballers like Marcus Young and Olex Anderson, and foster sportsmanship and encourage health and wellness.”
He said a better community means leveraging assets to help empower the people.
“Empowerment and transformation shall be our hallmarks,” Exeter said.
“For more than 26 years, the people of Central Leeward have suffered abuse under the ULP administration that has neglected this constituency. The ULP have had their chance. And they have blown it. Now it’s your chance.”
Lesson from COVID-19
Exeter said that if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the nation anything, it is the importance of food security and self-reliance.
“The NDP’s plan involves empowering our people by creating the environment to allow the people of Central Leeward to take their destinies in their own hands, by creating a network of small entrepreneurs particularly in the areas of technology, fishing, general services; and enhancing youth identity and participation through sports, culture and the arts.”
He said that revitalisation of the fishing industry will result in numerous economic spin offs, private sector growth and jobs in catching, production, packaging, marketing and distribution.
“Let’s use our assets, such as the sea and the land to help our fisher folk and farmers generate wealth for our people.”
Exeter told Central Leeward that this is “no time to be weary.
“I know that many of us may be tired of fighting because it seems like there is no victory or no light, but outside is always darkest before dawn. And we always face our biggest, hardest battles before our sweetest victories. But we must band together in this battle. We must rely on each other.
“We have already endured so much. And yet, we are still standing, stronger than before, because the people of Central Leeward are resilient. We are tough. We are strong. We cannot quit now. We must stand firm and continue to fight. We must straighten our shoulders, lift our heads and fight.
“Because we are fighting for our lives. We are fighting for the lives of our children. We are fighting for the lives of our future generations. We are fighting for a renewed, revived Central Leeward,” Exeter said.
“We can’t stop and we won’t stop. Let us seize the opportunity — this is your chance,” he said and encouraged eligible persons to register to vote.
“Then, on election day, wake up early. Call a friend, text a friend, drag a friend out to the polls and mark your X for hope. This is your chance,” Exeter said.