Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (centre), is pictured at an event with some of the participants of the WorldSkills competition. (FP)

Young people have been encouraged to develop world-class skills, which would help them to find employment anywhere in the world.

This assertion was made recently by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, as she gave the opening remarks at the 37th Sir Winston Scott Memorial Lecture, which was held at the Frank Collymore Hall.

And, Dr. Byer Suckoo, noted that the island’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions have an important role to play in developing the necessary skills and competencies of the nation’s youth.

She cited that these institutions were the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, the Barbados Community College, the Barbados Vocational Training Board and the TVET Council.

"… [These institutions should] enable them [the youth] to earn a living in the new world order where technical knowledge will be required to complement the traditional academic form of education," she pointed out.

The Labour Minister added: "We intend to ensure that our TVET students emerge from our programmes with skills and competencies which will allow them to contribute effectively in the world of work, whether self-employed, employed in government or in the private sector."

She stated that the ministry’s efforts to create a paradigm shift in education and training had been tested recently at the Worldskills America Competition in Brazil.??

"One of our BVTB apprentices, Akelia Chapman… who is in her third year of apprenticeship in the area of hairdressing… gained a silver award for her presentation in the ladies and men’s hairstyling category of this competition," Dr. Byer Suckoo disclosed.

Noting that TVET was not only for the youth, she said the Ministry of Labour had a retraining and retooling programme for persons of all ages who had been made redundant.??


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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