When the proposed National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is implemented, it will facilitate easier access to learning and work opportunities.

This was the opinion of the Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer, as she gave opening remarks at a town hall meeting on Thursday at Queen???s College, that discusses the benefits and limitations of the proposed NQF. It was the first of three town hall meetings to be held on this topic.

According to the Minister, as all human resource development objectives are inter-related, a NQF can be utilised to facilitate the development of individuals through lifelong learning.

???As part of the National Human Resource Development Strategy, the proposed NQF is an appropriate foundation on which to build, enable and facilitate the future of human resource development in Barbados by refining the skills of individuals through lifelong learning,??? she continued.

In her presentation, panellist and Executive Director of the Barbados Accreditation Council, Valda Alleyne examined several aspects of the proposed NQF, including its definition, how it will function, its credits and levels. She also insisted that the framework would not only benefit employees, but employers as well.

???Employers will be able to better understand new qualifications that are presented by prospective and current employees and how competent these persons are. The qualifications framework, through the level descriptors, will indicate the knowledge and understanding, the skills that are expected to be shown with the knowledge, as well as the level of autonomy and responsibility, so that the employer would know the knowledge of the employee, based on the outcome of the NQF,??? Ms. Alleyne explained.

The other panellists were Executive Director of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council, Henderson Eastmond; Education Officer, Henderson Wiltshire; Quality Assurance Officer at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Pamela Dottin; and Instructional Development Specialist at the UWI, Dr. Sylvia Henry.


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