Education Lead Specialist with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Dr. Sabine Reible-Aubourg, is pleased with the progress made thus far by Barbados to implement the Skills For the Future Program, a US$20 million investment, financed by that organisation on behalf of the Government of Barbados.
The IDB official registered her satisfaction yesterday as the Bank continued its three-day mission to address any challenges facing the program.
Of particular interest on this quarterly fact-finding mission was the work being undertaken by the Competency-Based Management Unit (CMU) ??? the organisation responsible for the Competency-Based Training Fund (CBTF).
The CMU is an initiative designed to better equip workers with the skills/competencies needed to excel in a rapidly changing world.
While updating media personnel at St. Leonard???s Boys??? Secondary School on this aspect of the Skills For the Future Program, Dr. Reible-Aubourg said a meeting with the CMU provided some insight into the second round of Call For Proposals and where that component was at.
Satisfied that the First Call For Proposals had yielded seven winning partnerships that were ???off to a good start??? with their training initiatives, the IDB official said: ???We noted that for the first year of implementation, the component has exceeded all expectations.
“We have 12 proposals right now that the Government has selected for approval, and the first call had seven proposals; so we have 19 that have been voted in all and we are very happy that the private sector responded so favourably to the calls for proposal.
???I think over 50 proposals have been received in total, out of which 19 were selected and this was a very good outcome for the first year of implementation. And, now, the proposals are starting their implementation. What we???ve learnt is that with the few partnerships that have actually started to implement, everything is on target.???
Dr. Reible-Aubourg commended the CBTF team, noting that it had done an excellent job on its public relations and marketing to acquire the necessary buy-in.
???I think the response from the private sector showed that the message was clearly communicated and now the Ministry has contracted a communication consultant to help to diffuse the information about the overall Skills For The Future project. That component has just started and we expect it will be successful,??? she opined.
CBTF requires employers and training institutions to form partnerships to access the funds for primarily training persons employed in the particular organisation. These partnerships may be formed between an employer/employee association and local, regional or international training providers.
Together, the employer and training provider must submit joint training proposals to the CBTF indicating, among other things, the type of training and funding that is required, the assessment to be performed, and the certification to be issued at the end of the training.
The First Call for Proposals, which ran from April 11 to May 23, was met by overwhelming response from the public, with a total 33 proposals submitted to the CBTF. In July of this year, seven winning partnerships were announced at the headquarters of the IDB on Maxwell Main Road, Christ Church.
Those taking advantage of the first disbursement of the over US$6 million grant fund, offered by the CBTF were: Intimate Hotels/Career Development Institute; Guardian General Insurance/BIMAP; Barbados Port Inc./Caribbean Maritime Institute; West Toonz Inc./BIMAP; AC Manufacturing/Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic; Barbados Youth Business Trust/CILC Action Coach; and The Potter Centre/Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.
Successful partnerships emanating from the Second Call For Proposals are expected to be announced by the first quarter of 2015.