Marketing Director of Carter’s General Store , Bryan Hurley, showing Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Kay McConney, some of the tools which were donated to the Barbados Construction Gateway Training Initiative, today. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Carter’s General Store has been lauded for its donation of 160 purpose-designed tool kits to the Barbados Construction Gateway Training Initiative (BCGTI), currently being executed by the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training.

The praise came during a presentation ceremony today at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI), Wildey, St. Michael, where Education Minister Kay McConney, acknowledged the contribution, worth some $75,000, and pointed out it stood to benefit trainees during and after their stint in the BCGTI.

Expressing this to Marketing Director, Bryan Hurley and other representatives from Carter’s, she commended them for partnering and supporting Government’s efforts to build the country’s future through the BCGTI.

Ms. McConney noted the story of the over 100-year-old company was always that of seeking to help whether in the agriculture or the construction industry, and thanked the company for its partnership with the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, the Barbados Community College, the Barbados Vocational Training Board, the SJPI, and the TVET Council.

Urging other companies to follow Carter’s lead, she stressed the benefits to accrue to both sides, saying: “We want you all to see what is the value in the Barbados Construction Gateway Training Initiative for your companies; how will you be able to resource using the graduates of this programme; how will you be able to train persons to the level that you need.

“There will be job attachments and we are asking you – those of you out there who have active construction projects – please let us know; we are looking for competent trained persons to do job attachments. You get an opportunity to see them at work; to assess their performance and determine if indeed they are resources who you would wish to keep on board with you. And, we hope that the answer for most of you will be a resounding “yes”.

The Minister also expressed gratitude to the training institution and noted what was exciting was to see they were choosing areas which they could collaborate on, whether at the level of their registrars coming together to address the intake of trainees; financial, to ensure “coppers’ were counted right; technical personnel to ensure the curriculum and programmes are right, or at the level of administrators, where they were making sure certification was right.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hurley, in his remarks, alluded to the fact that the donation was a response to Carter’s having heard the cry, in the latter part of 2021, by contractors, for skilled tradesmen in the construction industry.  

Noting that the announcement by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, for the BCGTI was not only timely but “very encouraging news for this sector”, he added: “Fortunately, the launch of this programme presented us at Carter’s with an opportunity to give back to a sector which has supported our business for many, many years and for that we are also very grateful….

“We trust that these kits will be useful to the students of the programme and wish all of the participants and the programme organisers success for the future.”

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