Competency Based Qualifications Necessary

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It is important that we stress the need for a competent workforce rather than one comprising persons with qualifications but no developed skills.

This comment was made recently by Minister of Labour, Senator Dr. Esther Byer, as she addressed the public launch of the Improving Productivity in Agriculture through Competency Based Training (I.M.P.A.C.T.) project at Pelican Village.

The I.M.P.A.C.T. project is designed to deliver competency-based training packages to 220 workers in livestock farming, crop farming and agro-processing.

It was one of the winning entries of the Competency-Based Training Fund, an initiative being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank under the Skills for the Future Programme, which was developed to support the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy.

Dr. Byer lauded the project, stating that with the application of vocational qualifications, all individuals would have the opportunity to develop the relevant competencies; be able to more effectively apply the knowledge learnt from the educational programme; and merge this knowledge with the technical skills.

???As new industries develop and new technologies are created, so is the need for our education and, by extension, our training system, to change and to be aligned with the emerging trends in industry. This is but one of the reasons why the Government made a decision to create a Human Resource Development Strategy,??? she pointed out.

Course participant, Sean Thomas, said that he could fully attest to the project???s effectiveness.?????I can speak for all the members who participated so far by saying that the programme enhances the natural abilities. It also teaches teamwork, leadership and entrepreneurial business skills, which in these hard economic times are essential for people who are being trained to assist the Government and [support] their families,??? he stated.

The I.M.P.A.C.T. Project is facilitated by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, in association with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, and the Ministries of Agriculture and Labour. These departments have already collaborated on the Youth Farm Programme, which over 100 students have successfully completed since its establishment in 2012.

jamal.hall@barbados.gov.bb

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