A partnership formed between the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) and Canada???s premier training institution for renewable energy, Sault College, should augur well for Barbados.

This was underlined today as the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the SJPP???s Wildey, St. Michael, headquarters.

Linking all the expectations of the Sault College/SJPP partnership to the goals of the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy (HRDS) and the Skills for the Future Programme (SFTF), Principal of the SJPP, Hector Belle, said it should see the development of a two-year demand driven programme in renewable energy.

???We must produce graduates that are demanded by the industry and not just train people and put them out there and hope that they will get a job. Those days are gone??? We have to make sure that we bring about the desired results,??? he maintained.

He also noted that the SJPP should see the strengthening of its quality assurance practices for demand driven TVET training utilising the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) and the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) certification system. ???We want our graduates to recognise that Barbados is not the only market but the Caribbean is a market for all of us. Not only that, but CVQs will soon be recognised worldwide,??? he said.

Pointing out that it would bring about improvements in the quality and relevance of the polytechnic???s programme, Mr. Belle noted, ??????for that to be possible we have to ensure that we have an active advisory committee???one that can inform us on the currency of our programme to ensure that we are not teaching things that are outdated or teaching what the instructors know, but what industries need.

The Principal also intimated that his institution had begun to benefit from an enhanced career counselling programme and said: ???Today we recognise that this is needed more or less to help young persons and persons who want a change in career path to direct them towards the best possible direction that they should go.???

The expected ???transfer of expertise??? over the next three years, from Sault College to the Polytechnic, was also noted by Mr. Belle who explained that once faculty members at the SJPP received this it could lend to further sharing with persons on the island. ??

Alluding to the fact that the development of labour market information would assist the HRD Strategy and the SFTF program, the SJPP???s principal said: ???We need that information to inform the process and curriculum???One would expect a more active utilisation of labour market information in determining the demand for the SJPP???s graduate; what the polytechnic needs and any deficiencies.???

Meanwhile, member of the Board of Management Glendon Belle, in pointing out that the SJPP always had good relations with Canadian institutions, said the Board thought that the institution should widen its skills in terms of new industry. He added that renewable energy was considered a good fit since it was recognised as important to reducing Barbados??? dependence on fossil fuel.


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