Bermudians head to UK for butcher training
The sole woman in a group of four Bermudians who leave on Friday for the UK to be trained as qualified butchers said her journey marks an end to a long struggle with unemployment.
Tomeeka Talbot of Warwick, is a 38-year-old single mother who, despite her best efforts, has been unable to land a full time job for several years.
She will join Vaughan Archibald, Maki Pitt and Damiko Trott on a three-month course to become certified butchers by the end of June.
Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy announced the group will receive their training at Meat Ipswich in Suffolk, as part of a Government initiative.
The group was presented with airline tickets and documents required for the course at a press conference held yesterday.
In an interview with
The Royal Gazette she expressed gratitude to her family support base who will care for her 12-year-old daughter Tomei Talbot in her absence.
“My family is going to be supporting her while I’m gone, I will have a lot of help from them,” said Ms Talbot.
“I’ve had a long struggle with unemployment, it’s been many years. I’ve had a few part-time, temporary jobs but this means everything to me because this it’s something that is career based.
“I’m very excited about it because it’s been a long time coming. This is very close to heart, it means a lot to me and I’m going to do my best, and I get to travel across the world to make it happen,” she said.
“I also want to encourage young people to let them know that even at the age of 38 it’s never too late. You can continue to learn as long as your brain is capable of learning, you can do whatever you set your mind to.
“We’re leaving on Friday to return at the end of June with certification and I’ll be ready to work.”
Vaughan Archibald said this will be the first time he has travelled abroad.
“I’ve always been in the grocery sector coming up as a kid, I started packing groceries for MarketPlace and this is just another add-on to my career path,” he said.
“When the opportunity came up I said why not, this is something new, something different and quite an experience. I’m looking forward to it and this will be my first time across the water.”
The Minister noted that the number of work permit requirements in this job category increased by 11 percent from 2008 to 2011.
He added that the National Training Board has been “tasked with producing a National Training Plan to address the kinds of issues that we’re facing with unemployment in Bermuda”.
“Part of that as well is looking at Immigration figures and work permits to see which industries particularly have a high number of guest workers so that we can encourage Bermudians into certain trades so we don’t have to issue so many permits in that area.”
Said Mr Fahy: “Our objective is to provide access to employment opportunities in a field that would traditionally be filled by guest workers. We see this training initiative as genuine progress by affording Bermudians an opportunity to work in a specified field of employment.”
He commended grocery stores Miles, Supermart and Lindo’s, for their support.
The Ministry announced plans this week to send six Bermudians to the New England Institute of Technology to train as automotive collision professionals.
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