From left: Executive Director of the TVET Council (Barbados) Henderson Eastmond; Executive Director of the Barbados Manufacturers’ Association (BMA), Bobbi McKay; and Chairman of the TVET Council, Dr Hensley Sobers, during the media launch of The WorldSkills Barbados Competition 2016, yesterday.
Finalists of the WorldSkills Barbados Competition 2016 at the media launch at Almond Bay Complex.

WorldSkills Finals at BMEX


The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council is looking at Barbados’ strategic, long-term involvement with the WorldSkills brand.
This is according to Executive Director of the TVET Council (Barbados), Henderson Eastmond. 
He shared this during yesterday’s media launch of The WorldSkills Barbados Competition 2016, which will be held jointly with BMEX at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre from May 13 to 16, under the theme “Shaping a World Class Workforce through Innovation, Creativity and Skills Development”.
The WorldSkills Barbados Competition is based on the international WorldSkills Competition – a “skills Olympics” – held every two years, targeting students in the 16 -21 age group who are enrolled in Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutions.
It promotes world class standards in over 45 skill areas ranging from Cabinetmaking to Web design, Automobile Technology to Mechatronics, Hairdressing to Electrical Installation, and IT Network Systems Administration to Welding.
“We are looking at how we can better utilise the opportunities presented by this global competition to elevate the quality of our national training system, to put Barbados’ trainees on the global stage and to highlight the quality to our young, skilled professionals and by extension our workforce. To provide employment, or self-employment opportunities for our young people because they are considered among the best in the world”.
Eastmond went on to  reveal that the Council is undertaking a number of activities aimed at strengthening Barbados’ ability to participate in the regional and international competition. He said these include; Encouraging the training institutions to incorporate the WorldSkills competency standards into their curriculum; Advocating for the training institutions, where possible, to acquire the facilities or resources which would help their students to meet all of the criteria thereby making them eligible to compete at the regional or international WorldSkills Competitions; and undertaking a brand audit to strengthen the long-term development of the WorldSkills Barbados brand.
Also, in an effort to strengthen the developmental nature of WorldSkills Barbados, the Executive Director further revealed that TVET Council is seeking to identify internships or work attachments and scholarships for all of the medallists.
“This would ensure that in addition to the WorldSkills competition experience helping to improve their performance, participants would also acquire work experience in their skill areas which would help to cement their high standards of competent performance.”
Executive Director of the Barbados Manufacturers Association (BMA), Bobbi McKay, believes the collaboration of the WorldSkills competition and BMEX is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate what young talented Barbadians can produce and deliver.
She expressed that BMEX is committed to facilitating the competition at the highest level.
“We are confident that the vigorous competition, high quality talent pool, the creativity, ingenuity and sheer professionalism will leave a mark on exhibitors, investors and patrons alike.”
“At the BMA we are determined to expose alternate skills as not only possible but very viable career options. While there will always be room and need for traditional paths…it would seem that Barbados is finally becoming more and more receptive to embracing the arts, the vocational and technical skills, and many of the paths that were previously evaded because they did not fit into traditional career models. To this end, the WorldSkills Barbados 2016 competition not only represents an opportunity for our young people to be celebrated; but it also represents a milestone and a paradigm shift for our nation,” McKay pointed out. (TL)

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