The apprenticeship system is alive and well in Barbados. This assurance has come from Chairman of the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB), Dr. George Callender.
Speaking on the second day of the BVTB’s Apprenticeship Seminar at the Accra Beach Hotel and Resort yesterday, Dr. Callender urged the apprentices to never perceive their vocational training as secondary to any other formal education, adding that the apprenticeship system had a rich and vibrant history.
Citing the examples of several developed countries including France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia, he said the programme was a great contributor to many economies and was a viable method of passing on traditional training techniques to future generations.
“The Australian Apprenticeship Programme attracts some 400, 000 persons in about 500 occupations, an average of 800 persons per occupation; Germany it is almost impossible for one to find employment without completing an apprenticeship…including doctors’ assistants and bankers,” Dr. Callender pointed out.
The apprenticeship programme is one of the world’s most successful training schemes, which allows persons to learn skills while earning a salary. It is planned, day-by-day training that combines on-the-job instruction under supervision and simultaneous theoretical education.
In Barbados, the programme is normally for a period of three years and is open to persons 16 years and over, who have completed nine years of formal education and can satisfy the Director of Training of his/her ability to qualify under a scheme of training.
The courses offered are Automotive Engineering, Carpentry, Masonry, Plumbing, Electrical Installation, Vehicle Body Repair, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Welding and Metal Fabrication, Mechanical Engineering (Maintenance Fitter/Machinist), Apprentice Chef and Solar Water Heating Technician.