(L-R) Representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank, including Lead Education Specialist, Carlos Herran and Consultants Dr. Carlos Garguilo and Dr. Juan Prawda, with Programme Director, Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Paul Murphy (Right, Back), other personnel from the Ministry, training providers and members of the Private Sector who recently attended the Competency-Based Training Fund Workshop, Component 1 of the Government of Barbados/IDB Skills for the Future Programme at Courtyard by Marriotts, Hastings Christ Church.?? (C.Pitt/BGIS)??

Government, through the assistance of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has begun the process towards implementing a fund that will aid employers in the private sector in training staff to meet required levels of competence for their jobs.

At a meeting held Wednesday, August 15, by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MEHR) and the IDB at the Courtyard by Marriotts, Hastings, Christ Church, a number of requirements and obligations were outlined to employers.

Participants heard from consultants with the IDB, that the Competency-Based Training Fund (CBTF), Component I of the recently approved Government of Barbados/IDB Skills For the Future Programme,?? required employers and training institutions to submit, in advance, short proposals indicating, among other things, the type of training, tools and equipment required, along with the respective budgets.

According to the IDB representatives, the Call For Proposals to access the CBTF would be launched twice a year for three years during the life of the programme and would involve six implementation cycles.

Explaining further, Consultant with the IDB, Juan Prawda, said that the Fund could only be accessed via the formation of partnerships between an employer/employee association and local, regional or international training providers.???? He stressed: "Before each cycle, an announcement would be made to engender the participation of employers and training providers. For example, an employer association working with the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic can submit a proposal to tap into the Fund."

Meanwhile, Programme Director with the MEHR, Paul Murphy, said that a mandatory two-day financial and procurement workshop would be held for winning partnerships. Mr. Murphy, who has been negotiating with the IDB to initiate the programme, revealed that the Ministry would be setting up a bank account at the Central Bank of Barbados to facilitate programme implementation.??

He further noted that a sub account, managed by the MEHR, would be opened at the Treasury, specifically for activities of the CBTF. The IDB would advance funds according to the financial plans, submitted by the Ministry, to avoid any potential bottlenecks in financing training proposals.

Mr. Murphy gave the assurance that employers and training providers would continue to be apprised of the progress towards the implementation of the CBTF and he said that a Competency-Based Fund Management Unit (CMU) would be established to manage the day-to-day operations of the Fund.

It was also disclosed that the Ministry, along with the CMU, would further facilitate employers’ understanding and development of the short but manageable proposals in a subsequent session.

The Competency-Based Training Fund, which is valued at US $6 million, aims to support Government’s Human Resource Development Strategy, with emphasis on improving the quality and relevance of secondary education and the effectiveness of the country’s technical and vocational education and training.

The total cost of the operation is US $20,506,572 million, of which US $20 million will be financed by the IDB and the other $506,572 contributed by the Government of Barbados.


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