Director, Henderson Thompson (left), BVTB staff and representatives of the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD) pose for a photo following a tree planting ceremony at the C. Alleyne Lomer Skills Training Centre today. (M.Rollock/BGIS)

The Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB) has had to turn down hundreds of applicants this year because it does not have the capacity to meet the demand for its courses/programmes.

Director Henderson Thompson said this year alone, there were 300 applications for the International Cooking/Cuisine course, but the Board could only accommodate 60 persons. 

He explained that this trend also held true for other courses offered. “It is a bit frustrating for us when we have so many people applying for these programmes who want to be certified and go and find jobs not just locally but regionally and beyond, but we can’t accommodate them.

“We want to be able to put on special programmes for all of the other demand areas.  We also work with the Ministry of Youth providing programmes for young people,” Mr. Thompson explained. 

He was speaking after a tree planting ceremony this morning at the C. Lomer Alleyne Skills Training Centre at Sayes Court, Christ Church. 

The tree planting was part of activities to mark the 40th anniversary of BVTB and that of its regional partner, the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration (CARICAD).

The BVTB director further added that the Board was looking to expand its Level 3 CVQ training programmes to include Chef de Partie, Sous Chef and Pastry Chef courses, for which it had already created a curriculum. 

A centre will be established in Deacons Road, St. Michael, which will focus solely on commercial food preparation.  Mr. Thompson noted that these were areas that the “industry is demanding we go”.

Some of the Board’s popular programmes include Tractor Operations, Skid Steer/Loader, Auto-mechanics, Plumbing, Electrical Installation and Care of the Elderly.

“Care of the Elderly … we really need to expand on that because we are an ageing population and a lot of young people are getting into that and we want to train people at a competent level. So, these are very high demand areas,” Mr. Thompson stated.

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