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Home | Community Development Division | Community Education Programme (CEP) | Handicrafts Programme

Handicrafts Development Programme

The Handicraft Development Programme is an annual feature of the Handicraft Research and Development Unit. It is managed under the Community Education Programme, under the umbrellla of the Ministry of Community Development’s poverty alleviation, skills training and employment generation programmes.

Over the years the production of local handicraft has been a means of creating a high level of sustainable employment opportunities for unemployed persons in rural and urban community sectors.

The Handicraft Research and Development Unit was established to aid craft producers in developing the expertise that allows to keep abreast with continued changes in trends and designs. These skill sets lay a foundation for local handicraft to be in a highly competitive arena.
The Handicraft Development Programme is structured to bring relief to disadvantaged individuals and designed to promote self-help, self-reliance, empowerment and job creation.

The Programme has established operational guidelines, as set out below:

  • The promotion and development of handicraft as a viable and sustainable business.
  • Increasing the number of persons involved in handicraft.
  • Implementing intensive and specialized skills training programme in market relevant crafts.
  • Creation of linkages between producers of raw materials and producers of finished handicraft products.
  • Providing the environment for the growth and development of micro enterprises.
  • Promoting activities which create opportunities for the interaction of buyers and sellers.


The Handicraft Development Programme is aimed at reducing the level of poverty and empowering persons in all spheres of the community sector. This programme does not discriminate in respect of:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Education
  • Religion
  • Political Affiliatio
  • Social or Economic Strata


The Programme is implemented annually from April to August for a period not exceeding five (5) months.

Classes total twenty (20) sessions and are held on one day per week for three (3) hours. The total number of contact hours is sixty (60) for basic level training and seventy five (75) for advanced level training.


This Programme is designed on the basis of the receipt of requests from community based organizations, assessed needs and the potential market demand for specific handicraft products.


Notification of the Handicraft Development Programme is promoted via advertisements in the print media, on the website for the Ministry of Community Development, and throughout various communities.


Interested person apply on designated forms made available throughout all eight (8) Community Development Administrative District Offices. Forms will also be made available on the website for the Ministry of Community Development. Classes are limited to a maximum of twenty-five (25) participants, or as requested by the facilitator.

Participants can apply for entry in no more than two (2) courses to allow for commitment to the programme.


Courses are conducted at community facilities such as Community Centres, Civic Centres and Regional Complexes.

Where appropriate facilities are not available, other venues such as schools, churches and community meeting places are utilized.

It is not the policy of the Handicraft Unit to pay rental fees for the use of any venue to host its programmes.


Funding for The Handicraft Development Programme is financed through the Handicraft Unit’s annual budgetary allocation under N.P.I. – Non Profit Institutions.


The specialized handicraft courses are tutored by a time of skilled and dynamic facilitators.


Successful participants will receive a “Certificate of Participation” upon completion of at least 75% of course work in addition to having attained 75% attendance.


The Handicraft Development Programme will culminate with the implementation of a 3 day Artisans Craft Market on the Brian Lara Promenade during the first week of September.

The Artisan’s Craft Market will create the commercial atmosphere which will allow for the interaction between buyers and sellers and promote the sale of quality products on the local market.

This Craft Market will provide a window of opportunity for persons graduating from the Handicraft Development Programme to assist in gaining economic independence.

Performance Assessment

The assessment of the programme depends on both the facilitators and the Handicraft Development Officers. The programme is closely monitored by the Handicraft Development Officers on a monthly basis, or as the need arises.

At the end of three (3) months or after ten (10) sessions, a Mid Term Assessment or Evaluation process is conducted by the officers to determine that:

  1. Participants have acquired an acceptable level of competency which is on par with the syllabus.
  2. Participants demonstrate a marked level of commitment to the programme which is seen by their attendance record and from the display of their projects.

Please Note: A subsequent assessment is again undertaken before the end of the programme.

Ministry of Community Development
Handicraft Development Programme


No. Administrative District No. of Courses Cost
1. St. George East 11 $71,600.00
2. St. George West 14 $80,000.00
3. St. Andrew / St. David 10 $64,500.00
4. Caroni 10 $53,900.00
5. Victoria East 10 $54,000.00
6. Victoria West 11 $58,100.00
7. Nariva Mayaro 10 $56,000.00
8. St. Patrick 10 $58,500.00
  86 $496,600.00

Ministry of Community Development
Handicraft Development Programme


No. County No. of Tutors
1. St. George East 11
2. St. George West 11
3. St. Andrew / St. David 9
4. Caroni 10
5. Victoria East 9
6. Victoria West 8
7. Nariva Mayaro 9
8. St. Patrick 6
  Total 73

Ministry of Community Development
Handicraft Development Programme


No. Item Cost
1. Programme Wages - $309,600.00
Materials - $187,000.00

*Total - $496,600.00

2. Publicity $15,000.00
3. Artisans Craft Market
(Brian Lara Promenade)
4. Certificates

(Purchase of Laser Inks & Certificate Paper for the printing of approximately 2150 certificates)

  TOTAL $598,648.00
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