Delegation In Canada To Explore Fishing Apprenticeship

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With the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB) seeking to deliver training which is more relevant to the needs of Barbadians and the local industry, the department is moving ahead with plans to introduce new courses to its syllabus.

One such programme is ???Professional Fish Harvesting’, with a six-member delegation leaving the island last weekend for Newfoundland, Canada, to explore the possibility of developing an apprenticeship programme in this area.

The delegation comprises Chief Fisheries Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Stephen Willoughby; Research Officer, Cassandra Delaney; Curriculum Development Officer, Cameron Sinckler; Training Officer, Francine Skeete of the BVTB; President of the Barbados National Union of Fisherfolk Organisations, Vernel Nicholls; and Instructor of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Henderson Grant.??

The visit comes out of the need to educate fishermen to meet the demands of a changing fishing industry. With the existing population of fishermen consisting persons over 30 years old, most of whom have had no formal training in fishing,

navigation, engine maintenance or safety at sea, government officials saw the need for a formal system of comprehensive training to certify new and young crews for employment in the industry.

Newfoundland, a province on the eastern coast of Canada, is renowned for its fishing industry, seafood processing and aquaculture.

The group is expected to gather information critical to the development and implementation of the apprenticeship programme by visiting with members of the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board of Newfoundland.????

They will use the visit to observe the model employed for training and certification of apprentices and professional fish harvesters at various levels.

The officials will gather information on fish processing and shipwrighting, that is, boat building and repair methods, as research has indicated that these skills are lacking in Barbados.

Next on the agenda is a visit to the School of Fisheries at the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland to learn about their Fish Vessel Stability and Food Processing Programmes.

A trip to the Fisheries Department of Provincial Government and to a fish processing plant is also on the cards.??

The six-member delegation will take the opportunity to meet with a representative of the provincial government to preview legislation governing the industry and tour the Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board so that they can review their process of certifying apprentices.

Recently in Parliament, Labour Minister Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo announced that the BVTB would be embarking on initiatives aimed at boosting the local fishing industry.

She said the department would seek to upgrade the skills of young fishing boat crews and captains.??askeete@barbados.gov.bb

Author: Andr?? Skeete
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