Chairman of the TVET Council, Dr. Hensley Sobers, presents Manager/Proprietor of Bistro Monet, Jennifer Bennett, with her award. (TVET Council)

Generally speaking, persons do not become industrious and productive citizens, by attending classes – this is something that is learnt in the workplace.

This was emphasised by Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who pointed out that internships, job attachments and work placements are essential to on-the-job training and the development of the Barbadian workforce.

??"This practical training mechanism is oftentimes the only real opportunity accorded to students and trainees to enable them to practise the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom," she stressed.

Delivering the feature address at the Technical and Vocational Education and Training’s (TVET)’s Employers Recognition Awards Ceremony at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa yesterday, the Labour Minister pointed to the findings of a recent United Kingdom study which was conducted on the experiences of young people in the world of work, to support her statements.

"The study found that the more young people came into contact with employers while they were at school, the less likely they were to go on to be unemployed. [It] further indicated that those who had no contact through activities such as work experiences, visits from professionals or occupational practitioners and enterprise competition, were, most likely, not engaged in any educational, training or employment pursuits," she said.

Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo (front row, fifth from left, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Minister of Industry, Denis Kellman (second from right) and TVET Council Chairman, Dr. Hensley Sobers (front row, fourth from left) with the recipients of the TVET Council’s Employers’ Recognition Awards. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Lauding all the companies that participated in the competition, Dr. Byer Suckoo singled out the finalists in the TVET Employers Recognition Special Award in the Youth Development category.??

According to her, "this category has an even greater significance for me, because activities such as job attachments, work placements and internships all play an important role in the process of on-the-job learning."??

The eventual winner of that special award was Bistro Monet, a small south coast restaurant which regularly recruits and trains interns.?? The other finalists in that category were Atlantis Seafood Inc., Asphalt Processors Inc., and Simmons Electrical Co. Ltd.

Asking the employers to "join the global, regional and national efforts to redefine workforce training," the Labour Minister urged them to utilise the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s (BVTB) Apprenticeship Programme.??

She explained that companies currently participating in that programme spoke highly of the apprentices’ contribution to their organisations, and noted that several trainees had been retained as permanent employees.

Besides helping businesses gain productive staff, Dr. Byer Suckoo said, "BVTB’s Apprenticeship Programme not only allows young people to develop their specific vocational and technical skills in a practising work environment, but it also allows them to develop positive work attitudes and to learn from the more experienced workers in the various industries."

Encouraging the employers to partake in the next TVET Employers Recognition Awards, she told business operators that they are "key partners in workforce development."??


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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