Sen. Arni Walters peruses some of the literature on display at the TVET Council’s National Skills Day Showcase.

Minister of State with responsibility for Labour, Senator Arni Walters, has warned employees that the days of having a secure job until retirement is "a thing of the past".

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council’s National Skills Day Showcase at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday, he said workplace knowledge became obsolete very quickly in the present environment. ??He, therefore, urged employees to continue to re-tool themselves to meet the demands of the labour market.

According to him, this may necessitate several job changes during the career of the worker.

Senator Walters also dismissed the concept that training is discarded once persons had gained employment.

"The life-long learning benchmark specifies that TVET is ongoing throughout the employee’s working life as standards change requiring individuals to train, retrain and re-tool in order to remain current and competitive," he said.

The Labour Minister also discarded the notion that blue-collar work, which involved acquiring technical training and skills in various crafts and trades, was less honourable than white-collar jobs.

He noted that way of thinking had created a number of weaknesses in today’s labour market, whereby, there remained a scarcity of Barbadians entering the construction industry and other industries as artisans, tradesmen and technicians.

In this regard, Senator Walters observed that the emerging knowledge and information age had forced many families to rethink their career paths, since the nature of work and preparation for work had undergone major changes.

The National Skills Showcase is one of the activities planned in celebration of the TVET Council’s 15th anniversary.

Several careers in the technical and vocational fields will be on display, including Cosmetology, Automotive Technology, Fashion Design, Agriculture, and Floristry.

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