Denis Kellman, Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development. (FP)

Hundreds of students became graduates last Saturday evening, when the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP) held its 36th Annual Graduation Ceremony at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

They were congratulated on this achievement by Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, who delivered the feature address.?? Mr. Kellman praised BIMAP for its contribution to education in Barbados and asserted that the acquisition of new skills and continuous training were critical for competitiveness on both personal and national levels.

"As a country, we need to constantly review and upgrade the skills of our people, if we are to have sustained economic and social development, particularly, since education and training remains a source of industrial competitiveness and a promoter of GNP growth," the Minister noted.??

He also observed that, while the current economic climate tempted businesses to cut costs across the board, "there are still areas of training that are essential, even in recessionary times, [which may be used] to counter skills shortages, to address market competition… [and] to satisfy customer demands".?? The Industry Minister emphasised that, even with their limited resources, this need for training extended to small businesses as well.?? Mr. Kellman encouraged BIMAP to continue to cater to this sector, which was an important pillar for national development.

Using imaginative means of delivering training was also noted as crucial by the Minister, who identified distance learning and live webinars as examples which brought value to the educational experience – an approach which has been embraced by BIMAP since 1998, when it partnered with the University of Surrey in offering graduate level programmes.

In his remarks, Chairman of the BIMAP Board of Trustees, Dr. Don Marshall, revealed that the students’ hard work had been recognised beyond national borders.?? He quoted University of Surrey Programme Director, Dr. Alf Crossman, who declared: "I never cease to be amazed at the dedication the students show toward their studies – the sacrifices they made and the results they achieved.?? Their thirst for and acquisition of knowledge will enable them to achieve great things for themselves, their families and more importantly, for society as a whole…".

Dr. Marshall reported that, since the previous graduation in 2009, 2,431 participants had successfully completed various programmes with BIMAP.


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