Noel Haynes, a 70-year-old Lindener, recently graduated from the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) small engine repairs programme. He was among the 184 beneficiaries who graduated at the Lichas Hall, on Tuesday. “If I can do it, others can,” Haynes posited, saying age should not be a limitation for further growth.
He said that once a person reaches retirement age, it is assumed that they should only relax at home.
“Too many of our old folks are accustomed to sitting at home, watching TV and in the evening listening to death announcements when they retire. But I do not subscribe to that. I think that learning is a continuous affair, once you are alive.”
He added that, “the brain does not get old, but because you do not use it, it tends to go to lethargy so the ability to think, to articulate and to focus is with your brain, and if you keep using it then it will remain with you.”
Being among younger persons motivated him during the programme.
“My, being there served as an inspiration to many of them, I would not use the words that they said, but I will say it like this, if an old thing like Noel Haynes can do it then why can’t we,” he stated.
The retiree urged older folks to participate in the various programmes being provided by government. He is currently completing a Civil Engineering and Construction course at the Linden Technical Institute (LTI), while awaiting approval to participate in the BIT’s heavy duty equipment operation programme.
Another multi-talented participant was Dominic Richmond, who is also being trained as a teacher and now has attained a small engine repairs certificate through BIT.
“I want to extend my resume and I wanted to gain more skills in everything that I could so anything that I can do I would go ahead and do it. Now, I feel so good that I have another skill under my belt.”
Richmond is encouraging other young persons to take advantage of the services being offered through BIT.
Another graduate was Leticia Kingston, who was one of the two females to be trained in the electrical installation programme
“I choose this field because rarely you would see females do this (electrical installation) and I would like to learn electricity whereby I can help myself because this is something you need, and so I would urge other young women to choose something outside of our gender,” she said.
Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton, M.P., told the graduates that the training is a stepping stone to what they will eventually become. He expressed hope that they continue to develop and contribute to the country’s growth.
“The certificate is just a paper; fire can damage it and destroy and water can damage it. What is important for you to keep foremost in your mind is the knowledge that you have gained through the period and you have to nourish and nurture it,” the labour minister said.
He said the training and certification will also prepare them for future ventures.
“You have to be trained, prepared and ready if an opportunity comes.”
Also present at the ceremony were BIT’s Chief Executive Officer Richard Maughn, BIT’s Vice Chairman Rion Peters, Senior Technical Officer Leon Greaves, and Regional Chairman Deron Adams, among others.
Thus far, over 3,000 people have received training through BIT from 2021 to date. (DPI)