Forum For TVET Institutions Next Week

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The Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) will join other institutions that provide technical vocational and educational training (TVET) locally, regionally and extra-regionally, at a week-long forum at Marriott Courtyard, Hastings, Christ Church.

Hosted by the Caricom Education for Employment Program (C-EFE) from Monday, June 23, to Wednesday, June 25, the forum will discuss, among other things, programme development partnerships in TVET areas.??C-EFE is a $20 million programme sponsored by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (formerly CIDA), and implemented by the Colleges and Institutes Canada (formerly the Association of Canadian Community Colleges).

The first day will bring together representatives of Canadian and Caribbean colleges and institutes to discuss their programme development partnerships. On Tuesday, June 24, and Wednesday June 25, facilitators from Douglas College (Canada) will share a new resource for developing the essential employability skills crucial to success in any workplace.

The C-EFE programme is designed to contribute to an increased competitive, productive and gender-equitable workforce in the CARICOM region by supporting the development of enhanced, demand-driven TVET and workforce certification systems. Educating persons for employment means ensuring that graduates develop not just technical skills but also the problem-solving, teamwork, communication, and personal responsibility skills that make for good employees.

A major objective of the three-day meeting is to provide tools to assist teachers, TVET Councils and others to support the development and delivery of occupational standards and curricula that build and assess these important core skills. The fifty attendees expected from colleges and institutes across the Caribbean, as well as Canada, are currently collaborating on the development of new programmes.

At the workshop, they will be joined by representatives from National Training Agencies and TVET Councils who form the Technical Working Group for Occupational Standards, under the auspices of the Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities.

Principal of the SJPP, Hector Belle, while noting that on Thursday, June 26 and Friday, June 27, the working group would be dedicating time to critical areas, said of his expectations: ???At the end of the day, we should be more equipped not only to harmonise the regional approaches in the development of occupational standards for CVQs but we will be looking at approaches to imbedding essential employability skills, which are in high demand by employers.???

The C-EFE programme was launched in March 2012, and is delivered in partnership with the Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA) and the Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions (ACTI).

To date, the activities have included sponsoring the development of a new Regional Strategy for TVET with CANTA; the development of a leadership programme for managers of institutions delivering skills training with ACTI; and the establishment of 16 institutional partnerships between Canadian and Caribbean institutions including the SJPP, which is partnering with Sault College in the development of a renewable energy technician programme.

In addition to Barbados, the programme is active in 12 countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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