The training ongoing at the Barbados Port Inc. is in keeping with current trends and producing competencies that will lead participants to greater mobility in their job, locally and internationally.

Director of the School of Advanced Skills of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), Osric Forrest, stressed this recently as he addressed the media at the Barbados Port Inc., where a visiting team from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) assessed the Skills For The Future (SFTF) Program.

It is intended to support the human resource strategy with an emphasis on improving the quality and relevance of secondary education and the effectiveness of technical vocational education and training.

The Barbados Port Inc. and the CMI came together in a partnership last year, and submitted a proposal for funding to the Competency-Based Training Fund. The result is this training, which has been praised by IDB officials.

According to Mr. Forrest, the main focus is on productivity and safety. ???We look across the industry globally to see the current trends and the expectations of the worker and the employer. The training actually integrated academics or the knowledge requirement of the worker to perform a job; the technical skills which are required based on industry standards; and what we call professional/industry specific skills, which are related to the equipment being operated or other tasks that they may carry out,??? he said.

Noting that on completion of the exercise the employees would be assessed based on performance, he said they would be re-assessed if they have not carried out the task satisfactorily, until they are deemed competent.

According to Mr. Forrest, once competence has been achieved, they will have certification, which is ???currency???, that will allow them to move across the globe, with National Vocational Qualifications or Caribbean Vocational Qualifications.

He further stated that the port workers could benefit from a CMI certificate which has a number of components, including an Occupational Health and Safety Certificate, an industry-specific qualification based on the equipment they operate, and the occupational certificate, which is based on their area of employment.

Explaining further, the Director stressed: ???So these employees after the training and the assessment process are equipped with what we call ???wings??? that would give them currency to perform their jobs in the ports, to actually move to where opportunities exist in the globe, transition to other areas of study or to assist with training and assessment within the port. So overall, we are looking at the total port worker; we are creating an individual that can contribute not just to the Barbados Port Inc., but the industry on a whole.???

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