A number of incubator projects for young entrepreneurs could soon be realised thanks to collaboration between the Ministry of Education and the Barbados Manufacturers??? Association.

Chief Education Officer, Karen Best, revealed this yesterday, following a tour of the exhibits from this island???s primary and secondary schools at BMEX 2016, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

???Very soon the Ministry and the Barbados Manufacturers??? Association will be having discussions where we are going to be looking at setting up the incubators along with personnel from The University of the West Indies because we have a lot of persons with the skills, but they just need to get that push so that we can see the innovative aspect of our young people coming through,??? Mrs. Best said.

Reminding media personnel that ???not all students can be academics???, she noted that the Ministry was presently looking at the dual track approach to education. ???Right now, most of the professions that attract the persons who are academics are saturated, and therefore we are looking to diversify our educational offerings.

???It is happening and is being rolled out into even the older secondary schools, because we have had enquiries and interest from the older secondary schools as to how their students now can pursue the CVQ [Caribbean Vocational Qualifications],??? she explained.

Meanwhile, Education Minister, Ronald Jones, was full of praise for the CVQ programme, and stressed it was developing at ???a very rapid pace???.

Explaining that it started about six years ago with students from Daryll Jordan, Alma Parris and Alleyne School, he said many of the schools were now certified as centres. Among these, he listed Grantley Adams, St. George Secondary, Springer Memorial, Daryll Jordan, Frederick Smith and St. Leonard???s Boys???.??

Acknowledging that the world was going in the direction of competency-based training, Mr. Jones said for Barbados and the Caribbean, the CVQ was the way to go.

???When a fellow does a CVQ in block laying or steel bending, he can walk straight out of school or the Polytechnic and go on a work site and do steel bending, block laying, tiling??? they already have the skill,??? he pointed out.

The Education Minister added that this was in sync with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council, and all that was required was public education to highlight that now there would be ???a total package which would allow one to fit into the world of work in a better way???.


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