Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo??

The Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB) is continuing to raise the standard of courses offered by that department, and as such will soon be using the National and Caribbean Vocational Qualifications as its occupational benchmarks.

This was revealed last weekend by Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who said plans were being put in place for the accreditation of some of the BVTB’s programmes through the Barbados Accreditation Council in collaboration with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council (TVET).

The Labour Minister was speaking at the Board’s 30th Anniversary Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the Almond Beach Village Resort, St. Peter.

"This process has started with the introduction of NVQ’s in the Bar and Restaurant and International Cuisine courses at the All Saints Training Centre, St. Peter. It is anticipated that in the not too distant future other programmes will be accredited and graded with the NVQ standard," Dr. Byer Suckoo explained.

According to her, Barbados must be responsive to ensure the success of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) through its various training institutions and, in this regard, the Barbados Vocational Training Board was on stream.

The Labour Minister added that the BVTB had also recently established a Research and Curriculum Development Department, which had been charged with the responsibility of conducting needs analysis and developing courses to address local training needs.

As a result of this research, Minister Byer Suckoo said several new courses were added to the Board’s roster, including ???The Care of the Elderly’, ???Cosmetology’ and ???Autotronics’.

She pointed out that 1,472 persons were trained at the BVTB in the last financial year, including 712 from the Skills Training, 65 from Apprenticeship and 695 from Evening Programmes.

Chairman of the Barbados Vocational Training Board, Dr. George Callender, said the 30th anniversary marked the beginning of a new chapter for the department, with several changes in the works.

He stressed that rebranding did not mean there would be layoffs, but the Board would be expanding the classes offered, introducing new courses and developing partnerships with training facilities locally and abroad.

Some 67 employees were presented with staff and long-standing awards during the evening ceremony, with nine staff members receiving accolades for 25-28 years of service.


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