A large number of Barbadians have received training as a result of partnerships formed to take advantage of funds granted by the Competency-Based Training Fund (CBTF).
Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer, alluded to this yesterday while addressing an awards ceremony at Sea Breeze Hotel, Maxwell, Christ Church, that announced the third round of winning partnerships to gain funding from the CBTF.
Providing a snapshot of the impact of the CBTF, Senator Byer said: ???Overall, so far, more than BDS $3.6 million in funds have been disbursed to the employer and training provider partnerships, approved under cycles one and two of the project.
Further, during the quarter ending March 2015, a total of 610 persons have been trained across those two cycles. Seventy-seven of these persons were employed outside of the existing partnerships; 498 persons were employed by the partnering firms; and a total of 35 unemployed persons were also trained during this period.
???More importantly, I want to stress that the approximately 3,600 individuals to be trained and who represent both current and prospective members of Barbados??? workforce will be gaining new knowledge and skills which will help to improve performance, productivity and competitiveness in the workplace, and ultimately this will redound to the benefit of Barbados??? economy.???
Stating that it was anticipated that an improved economy would place the country in a better position to fight the effects of the prolonged worldwide economic recession, Senator Byer declared she was ???most excited??? about this aspect of work of her Ministry.
???To many, the image of the Ministry of Labour is that of industrial disputes and finding jobs – job placements – but a crucial role is the preparation and provision of a quality workforce. These 3,600 workers/persons to be trained in this programme are just a part of what we do,??? she stressed.
Many others, she noted, were being trained under the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council through the Employment Training Fund, the Unemployment Re-training Fund and the Barbados Vocational Training Board, as well as under the Human Resource Development Strategy.
Acknowledging that the demands of the workplace were changing with new sectors and occupations emerging, she said there were, however, some traditional occupational areas which were still required.
Adding that occupational standards were being developed for these, she said: ???It is therefore not surprising that the standards-based training and certification, which is being undertaken under the CBTF, includes a wide range of areas, such as stevedoring operations, industrial security operations, management, occupational safety and health, animation, textile and apparel manufacturing, amenity horticulture, customer service, television, video and film production, printing, health and wellness, furniture making as well as carpentry, plumbing, masonry and electrical installation.???
To this end, she gave the assurance that the TVET Council would continue to work feverishly to ensure that it could fully support the demands for occupational standards and curricula, required as a result of the CBTF partnerships.