|Members of the audience at the Consultative Review. included administrators and facilitators of TVET training institutions as well as employers and their representatives. (A. Miller/BGIS)|
Barbados has entered into a loan agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank which will finance the Skills for the Future Programme and the implementation of the Human Resource Development Strategy (HRDS).
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Yolande Howard, made this disclosure yesterday as she addressed the Consultative Review of Recommendations for a Regional Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Strategy for Workforce Development and Economic Competitiveness at Hilton Barbados.
The meeting was facilitated by the TVET Council, the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies, in collaboration with the Canadian International Development Agency – the funding organisation.
According to Mrs. Howard, the Skills for the Future programme will place emphasis on improving the quality and relevance of secondary education, in addition to technical and vocational education and training and is designed to expand opportunities for training and skills certification.
"This will be accomplished through support of the implementation of a National Qualifications Framework that incorporates the National Vocational Qualifications, commonly referred to as NVQs, and the Caribbean Vocational Qualifications, or CVQs and/or international qualifications for the occupations for which competence-based training is being demanded by employers and workers of Barbados," she explained.
Under the Skills for the Future Programme a Competency-based Training Fund (CBTF) will be established to support employer driven training for the workforce, and improvement of the quality and relevance of secondary and post-secondary education. This will be implemented in addition to institutional strengthening of the TVET Council and other institutions which deliver TVET training.
The initiative comprises three components and will be executed by the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy and the Revised CARICOM Regional TVET Strategy for the Workforce Development and Economic Competitiveness.??
The Deputy Permanent Secretary also appealed to employers to get more involved in job attachment programmes, work placements and internships, which she described as "an important role in the process of on-the-job learning".
She continued: "This practical training mechanism is oftentimes the only real opportunity accorded students and trainees to enable them to practice the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom."
Furthermore, Mrs. Howard said that those methods also gave employers an excellent opportunity to "mould the minds and attitudes of these future members of the workforce, and to ensure that they become industrious and productive Barbadian citizens."