Car painting finalists of the WorldSkills Barbados competition were present during yesterday’s launch ceremony, held at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology.

TVET policy to be revised

The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council soon intends to revisit the National TVET Policy which is now 15 years old.

“This is necessary,” stressed Executive Director of the TVET Council, Henderson Eastmond, while explaining that the policy will contain the rules and requirements intended to guide and safeguard what a quality TVET system should look like and how it should function.

“This is necessary to ensure that all of the lessons learned from our investment in WorldSkills, and competence-based education and training (CBET) in general, are implemented and integrated into the national TVET system to improve it and ensure it meets the needs of Barbados’ people.”

He was at the time delivering remarks on behalf of Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, during the launching ceremony of the WorldSkills Barbados 2018 Competition, held yesterday at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI), under the theme “Promoting Skills Development and Excellence”.

Eastmond went on to reveal that the process of revising the national TVET policy will take place with the assistance of the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Sub Regional Office for the Caribbean.

Moreover, he said that as part of the process, it is expected that the TVET Council will host a National TVET Youth Forum which will capture the needs and the expectations of the youth with regards to skills development and career paths.

“Going forward, it is the vision of the TVET Council, and by extension the Ministry of Labour through its responsibility for human resource development, to see that all work-related education, training and development is based on approved standards of competence, includes practical on-the-job learning, performance assessment against the approved standards, and leads to recognised certification such as National and Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (N/CVQs) which will be contained in the National Qualifications Framework.

“The revised national TVET policy will endeavour to help achieve this vision which in turn should impact the economy by producing a competent, competitive, productive workforce that helps to drive it,” he pointed out.

“In particular, it is worthy to note that the WorldSkills programme can have a direct hand in the aforementioned. WorldSkills International has competence standards for 51 Skill Areas to date. These 51 areas cover the traditional trades as well as the multi-skilled technology careers in industry and the service sectors.”

The Executive Director further stressed that one of the things that will serve to drive the economy is skills diversification, especially with higher level skills.

“Imagine a Barbados then, which is able to produce persons trained in those 51 Skill Areas who can prove their competence and ability to compete against the best that the world has to offer.

“The proof, of course, will be their ability to bring home Medallions for Excellence as well as gold, silver or bronze medals. Imagine what that will say about Barbados, imagine what it would do for our country’s reputation as a global leader in workforce development. Imagine what it could do for our economy,” he expressed. (TL)

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