Category Archives: Job Placement

GARD Center Graduates 89 Youth into the World of Work and Business


The European Union in partnership with the GARD Center in a two year project entitled “Improving Opportunities for At-risk, Probationary and Incarcerated Youth in Antigua and Barbuda” has empowered 89 young men and women with skills in the areas of Agricultural Enterprise, Professional Hospitality Services, Customer Service, Information Communication Technology and Business Enterprise. Many of these youth were graduating for the first time after dropping out of school for various reasons. It is always a touching moment for staff and parents to watch these young people come up with pride and self confidence to receive their certificates and awards.

Congratulatory remarks were given by Dame Eusalyn Lewis, Vice Chairperson of the GARD Center Board of Directors along with graduates who proudly presented a poem by Ms. Salome Hinds of the Professional Hospitality Service course and Graduate remarks praising their time at the Center, Ms. Latoya Wade from Business Enterprise and Ms. Adisha Browne from Customer Service.

Ms. Elicia Phillips, Managing Director of Phillips Consulting gave a very uplifting and encouraging speech for the Charge to the Graduates. The GARD Center wishes to thanks all the trainers who gave of their time and talents to work with the young trainees.

Anika Aska—Crop Production / Propagation
Sereno Benjamin / Tamesh Sookdal—Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
Kathleen Forde—Post Harvest
Brent Georges—Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Joel Matthew—Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Business Enterprise
Marcella André—Technical
Ingrid O’Marde—Technical

Customer Service and Professional Hospitality Service
Vincent Andrew—Technical

Information Communication Technology
Kedane Gamble

Lorne Matthew—English and Mathematics
Judy Dease-Richards—Life Skills
Joycelyn Humphreys—Life Skills

GARD Center Farm-to-Table 2018 Launched

The fourth Annual Farm-to-Table benefit luncheon for the GARD Center was launched on Friday, 9 March 2018, on site at the Gilbert Agro-Heritage Center.
The occasion was opened in prayer by Rev. Patmore Henry, Secretary to the Methodist Conference and Board member of the Center.  The event was chaired by Dame Eusalyn Lewis, Board Member, who also welcomed those present.
Introductory and Background Remarks were given by Mrs. Roberta Williams, Executive Director, GARD Center.
Mr. Casroy James and Mr. Kirthley Maginley, Principals of the James and Maginley Charity Launch of 2018 Farm-to-Table event-9March& Care Foundation Inc. both offered encouraging remarks and affirmed their support to this GARD Center Fundraiser for the next two (2) years, prior to officially handing over the Sponsorship Cheque of EC$13,700.00, for 2018, to the Executive Director, Mrs. Roberta Williams.
Mr. Mario Colindres, General Manager of the Goddard Catering Group, was not able to be at the Launch, but sent remarks on behalf of the participating Chefs, and their commitment to this major Fundraising event.
Farm-to-Table 2018, will be held on Saturday, 14 April, 2018, at the Gilbert Agro-Heritage Center.  Lunch will be served from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.
Tickets are now on Sale for $100.00.  Children under 12 years will pay $40.00.
We look forward to seeing you all there, as you continue to support the GARD Center as we train and empower the youth of Antigua and Barbuda.

GARD Center – CAREER DAY !!!

The Center is offering an Excellent opportunity for youth (17 – 35 years) to find the right CAREER.  An opportunity to meet employers and entrepreneurs, to learn more about organisations and businesses and a career you may be interested in pursuing.
Are you tired of being UNEMPLOYED?  Then here is an opportunity for you.
GARD Center is offering UPCOMING COURSES in:
Automotive Repair
Business Enterprise
Customer Service in the 21st Century
Glass Jewelry Making
See you on Friday, 26th January 2018, upstairs the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda on Long Street, St. John’s.
We will be there from 9:00am – 2:00pm.
Phone us at 463.4121 or 562.0084, for further information.
Registration is ongoing for courses mentioned.


The Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) held its 2017 Graduation Ceremony on Tuesday, 3 October 2017, at the Ebenezer Methodist Church Hall, St. Mary’s Street.
This Ceremony was to celebrate the European Union sponsored training programme, under the name, “Improving Opportunities for At-Risk, Probationary and Incarcerated Youth in Antigua and Barbuda” (YAR).
The ages of the youth trained range from 16 – 35 years.  Fifty six (56) students graduated from this programme.  Eight from Agricultural Enterprise; fifteen from Information Communication Technology and thirty-three from Office Administration.
Fifty-three (53)% of these young people have been awarded Internships and fifteen (15) have gained Joyce and Sherma at Graduation-3October2017employment.  The GARD Center wishes to sincerely thank all of our Business Partners who assisted us with Internships and Job Placement during Cohort 1, and we look forward to your continued support.
Special thanks to everyone who participated in our Graduation Ceremony and contributed to its success.

GARD Center Courses

The Center will be starting its three-month training courses September 2016, in:
Agriculture,Market Day 1
Business Management,
Customer Service,
Office Administration,
Tour Guiding; and
Yacht Maintenance, (especially for young women between the ages of 15 – 29 years of age). FREE TUITION for those who QualifyYM5
Now is the time to improve your skills for your future.
Register now, by contacting the GARD Center at: 463.4121 or 562.0084; or;
A Minimum Course Fee will be charged.

A Healthy and Prosperous 2015

staff picThe Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center (GARD Center) sincerely wishes to thank all of those who have supported our organisation, and assisted our Center in any way over our first twenty five years of existence and we wish to encourage you to continue this journey with us.
The Center started its year long celebrations with a church service on Monday, 8 December 2014, at Ebenezer Methodist Church, St. Mary’s Street, St. John’s.  This was followed by a Graduation Ceremony held on 16 December 2014, which was held at the same venue.
Our next activity is a Farm-to-Table event which is planned for April 2015, at the GARD Center Nature Center.  This fund raiser showcases our local producers, their products and the chefs who will be on hand to prepare the delicious meals.  We cordially invite you to join us at this event.
As our 25th anniversary celebrations continue, we will keep you updated with our events and look forward to having you join us.

Mentors and Tutors Trained in Gender Sensitization

GARD Center recruits and trains eleven Mentors and Tutors on Gender Sensitization
In an effort to continue providing young women and men between the ages of 16- 35 with professional training and nurturing, the GARD Center recently recruited and trained eleven mentors and tutors who will be working along with these young persons.
Gender Sensitization Training 4-14The training was conducted at the Directorate of Youth Affairs by the Director, Ms. Cleon Athill, see photo at right.  The topics covered in the training prepared the mentors and tutors for the challenges and situations they would most likely be faced with when working along with these youths, such as, differentiating between gender and sex, and gender biases.  It is expected that the mentors would be assigned to these youth and potential entrepreneurs for a period of 3 years, during which time they would be evaluated on a quarterly basis.
The GARD Center continues to attract young persons aspiring to become entrepreneurs to contact the Business Development Unit. We can be contacted at 463-4121 or 734-0084.

Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP)

Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP)
CYEPLaunched in 2008 with support from the U.S.  Agency for International Development (USAID), the Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program (CYEP) equipped vulnerable youth with the technical, vocational, and life skills needed to develop sustainable livelihoods.  This program targeted school leavers, ages 17 to 25, with particular attention given to young males, who are currently unemployed, under-employed, lack the skills to participate in an increasingly service-oriented economy, or are unable to successfully launch and sustain small business enterprises. Participants receive job training and placement services and are supported in serving as positive agents of change in their communities.
By the end of the project in 2013, across all of the participating Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Lucia):

  • 2,200 young people will have gained appropriate training that responds to the needs of selected high-growth industries such as tourism, music, entertainment, and arts and culture.
  • At least 40% of youth will be placed in quality jobs or in their own business start-ups.
  • 50% of participants who have not completed secondary school at baseline will be enrolled in an education training program or will have gained additional schooling credentials at the time of follow up.
  • 90% of employers will report satisfaction with their entry-level employees.
  • Partners will have strengthened their organizational capacity.
  • A sustainable network of stakeholders from private and public sectors will be created.

Donor partners:
USAID Sans BackgroundIYF

Success Story

The Caribbean Youth Empowerment Program II (CYEP) sponsored by the International Youth Foundation and funded by the United States Agency for Internal Development (USAID) has recently been completed and with a number of success stories.
Here is what one of the graduates had to say:
Odysser Thomas receiving her certificate-May2013In speaking to Odysser Thomas, graduate of the Office Administration class of 2013, she shared with me her excitement of managing a supermarket single-handedly after her training and Internship in the CYEP programme.  (See picture:  Odysser Thomas, R, receiving her certificate).
Odysser experienced a period in her life without job to sustain and meet her needs.  She was dependent on others for survival.  She blamed her situation on her lack of education and qualification.  Her goal in life is to have her own home but in order to do so she must be able to work and save.  When she heard of the training programme at the GARD Center she decided to apply to gain some qualification and to be independent.  The training was a challenge in itself since she was no good at spelling and was embarrassed to let others see her failure.  She remembers the first spelling test, a zero that caught the attention of her English Teacher, who promptly took Ms. Thomas under her wings.
“The training in Sales, Marketing and Customer service really helped during my Internship, which allowed the proprietor to place me in charge of his business and left me to manage it for two months.”  I now have a full time job as Manager of the business.
“I am so pleased with the training and the support I received.  I see the improvement in my life and my attitude. Thank you CYEP and GARD Center.”