Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (FP)????
The Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB) will soon be rebranded in keeping with Government’s efforts to develop an entrepreneurial spirit among young Barbadians and to promote the importance of vocational training.
This was revealed yesterday by Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who was conducting a familiarisation tour of the BVTB’s offices at Culloden Road and Belleville, St. Michael.
Dr. Byer Suckoo explained that the BVTB was considering a change of its name, focus and image as it sought to reach out to more students and change the perception that vocational training was for the academically challenged.
"For too many people vocational training is seen as something you do if you are not doing well in school, if you are not academically inclined… It has been sidelined and maginalised and that is something that has to be changed…. Right now is an opportune time as they seek to rebrand, to change that image in the minds of employers, employees and young people who are looking for job opportunities…they need to appreciate vocational training is something for everybody," she stressed.
The Labour Minister pointed out that as part of the rebranding, staff of the BVTB would also be reaching out to the schools to promote vocational training as a viable and respectable option.
Dr. Byer Suckoo added that the Board had been unfairly labeled as the department which "does plumbing and carpentry" and as a result, had sought to broaden its range of programmes to include cooking, bar and restaurant training and autotronics.
"The BVTB for 30 years has been rather unassuming in the role it has played in the development of Barbadian society…but definitely it has made a major contribution in terms of training our workforce…the work being done in vocational training cannot remain silent if we are to see our workforce improve," she said.
During the visit, the Labour Minister was apprised of the training being carried out by the department and she took the opportunity to "meet and greet" members of staff and the board.
She was accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour, Martin Cox; Chairman of the BVTB, George Callender; and Acting Director, Merna Jordan.