Préfète Sylvie Feucher and President Daniel Gibbs with the Investment Pact for Professional Training. (Photo Robert Luckock)


MARIGOT--Préfète Sylvie Feucher and President of the Collectivité Daniel Gibbs signed the “Pacte d’Investissement dans les Competences de St. Martin 2019-2022” earlier this week, a substantial envelope of fourteen million euros for training of the unemployed to be disbursed over the next four years, of which 7.2 million euros was contributed by the French State.

  The investment part will help to create data bases on the island or with partners out of St. Martin. Also, in the pact will be the Plan Territorial de Formation Professionelle promoted by Vice-President Annick Petrus.

  “The Collectivité currently offer some 400 places for training annually and we will maintain that effort,” explained Director of the Human Development Department Thierry Gombs. “We [ Ed. – Collectivité] are not putting more money into it, that comes from the extra 7.2 million euros from the State to finance the project. 

  “The partners are the Collectivité, Pôle Emploi and Direction des Entreprises, de la Concurrence, de la Consommation, du Travail et de L’Emploi (DIECCTE). We will have a steering committee that will decide what training programmes to implement. It’s going to be a team effort where we will propose programmes with Pôle Emploi to get people trained, either here on the spot or off island. With the partners we’ve been working on this document for the past six months and fine tuning it. So, it is satisfying to see it signed today.

  “The first actions will start in September with Pôle Emploi. We have to maintain our efforts for the next four years, but eight or nine programmes have already started and new programmes will be launched at the end of the year.”

  Gibbs noted the initiative over the long term aims to train one million jobseekers with little or no qualifications, and to accelerate the transformation of the professional training system by meeting the needs of St. Martin companies.

  “Implementation of this plan complements what the Collectivité is already doing actively with the territorial training plan. We are working on our existing partnership with the Pôle Emploi to ensure access to the biggest number of young people to offer qualifying routes to employment,” he said.