Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Romel Springer presenting the STAR award to Technical Officer of the TVET Council, Dario Walcott. (Photo: TVET Council)

Staff of the TVET Council took a break from work to cheer on and celebrate with each other during its Christmas Luncheon and Awards Ceremony held at the Accra Beach Resort & Spa last Friday.

Employees of the institution were recognized for their outstanding performance on the job, length of service and achieving perfect or excellent attendance.

However, the most anticipated were the organization’s two most prestigious accolades, the STAR award and the Unsung Hero award, for which staff nominated their colleagues based on specific criteria. 

Capturing the coveted STAR award and receiving the loudest applause was Technical Officer, Dario Walcott, who also serves as Chairman of the WorldSkills Barbados programme. 

STAR, which stands for Service, Teamwork, Attitude and Reliability, is given to the staff member who consistently excels in his or her position; promotes teamwork and collaboration across the organization; works quietly to improve his or her division; and has done so with a positive and forward thinking attitude.

On the nomination forms some of Mr. Walcott’s colleagues described him as “enthusiastic, supportive, energetic, motivational and reliable”.

Another workmate stated: “When short deadlines necessitate extended working hours, Dario always remained with the team and kept everyone engaged until their tasks were completed.”

In addition to performing his regular duties, he worked on two major projects: E-portfolio Online Registration and the WorldSkills Barbados programme.  The E-portfolio initiative involved the digitalization of the certification process and online assessment of the work of examination candidates. 

The 30-year old also led the Barbadian team to the largest technical and vocational skills competition, WorldSkills Kazan in Russia, and managed the team that successfully staged the inaugural WorldSkills Barbados Juniors Competition for secondary school students on island.  For this, he and some of his colleagues also copped the Executive Director’s Teamwork Award. 

The WorldSkills Barbados Team won the Executive’s Director Teamwork Award of the TVET Council. (Photo: TVET Council)

To top it off, Mr. Walcott was appointed Vice Chair of the Technical Committee of WorldSkills Americas, a regional organization comprising countries from the Caribbean and North, Central and South America.

“I feel good because it came with late nights, early mornings and headaches. When you work hard and the people around you recognize that you worked hard and show appreciation for it, you really feel good.  I really can’t win a teamwork award without a team.  One of the hardest things is to mobilize people who you don’t have organizational authority over, and it’s always the most difficult part to get people going when they have other duties to do, so a big thank you goes out to the WorldSkills Barbados team,” Mr. Walcott expressed.

The Unsung Hero award was won by Technical Officer, Alicia Sealy, and Administrative Officer, Shirleen Inniss.  The outstanding employees tied for the award.

The criteria include consistently going above and beyond the call of duty without fanfare; filling in wherever needed with enthusiasm and effectiveness as well as taking initiative to solve problems; and improving work situations without being prompted. 

Ms. Sealy began working as a Clerk/Typist at TVET Council and was promoted to act as a Technical Officer.  Colleagues said she was “always willing” to assist, even outside her regular assigned tasks, and noted that she performed “diligently, faithfully and effectively”.

Ms. Inniss, who is responsible for administrative and human resource matters, chairs the Occupational Safety and Health Committee and the Greening TVETC Sub-Committee of the Sustainable Development Committee.  She is also a member of the Records Management, ICT Policy, and the Internal Public Relations Committees.

One of her workmates noted: “She tends to simplify a seemingly difficult task and organize it in a way which almost becomes law.”

Another stated: “Shirleen is the one person who always takes time from her busy schedule to ask if assistance is needed, and to offer her help.” Annually, the TVET Council awards its staff in an effort to motivate and recognize their outstanding contribution and in helping it to fulfil its mandate.

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