Executive Director of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, Henderson Eastmond. (TVET/FP)

Executive Director of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, Henderson Eastmond, has thrown his full support behind the Barbados Construction Gateway Training Initiative (BCGTI).

Addressing the launch of the initiative today, at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI), Mr. Eastmond stressed technical and vocational training remained the “key to a world class workforce” as he expressed the Council’s pleasure at being part of the initiative.

“A competent and competitive workforce forms the foundation of a strong economy and we at the TVET Council have a vision for this country. We want to see a strong, economy diversified, moving towards self-sufficiency and then to exports.  That cannot happen without a highly-trained, technical workforce and that has been our battle for years and it will continue to be our battle until we reach that goal,” he said.

Also seizing the opportunity to remind “would-be trainees” of the BCGTI that skills development and training are not one-off activities, he added: “Lifelong learning and Continuing Professional Development are very important to practitioners in the various jobs, occupations and careers in the construction industry.”

While outlining the Council’s contribution to the BCGTI, the Executive Director pointed out that it had drafted the proposed units for the three-month training, based on the existing Caribbean and National Vocational Qualifications’ (C/NVQs) units of the existing occupational standards. He said this was done for about 90 per cent of the programmes.

Mr. Eastmond pointed out that the final programmes of training were then finalised with the teachers/instructors from the training institutions but because of other constraints it would not be feasible to assess towards the unit certification of the C/NVQ at this time.

The Executive Director assured those gathered, however, that the TVET Council, along with the training institutions, would shortly be planning another project to call these students back in the near future to assess them.

This, he noted would be accomplished through the Prior Learning and Assessment Recognition method to grant the C/NVQ certification “because these are CVQs for free movement”.

“This will be done so that at a later date graduates can continue their training towards the full C/NVQ. For now, the institutions would grant their own certificate. This is our commitment to competency-based training which is bite-size training, as you go to full qualification towards life-long learning,” he stated.

Mr. Eastmond disclosed that working with other institutions and the Education Ministry they would soon seek to create career pathways, right up to degree level, in technical training.

“The vision is to go to Masters training,” he stressed, adding there cannot be a truncated technical education system but instead one standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the academic system, if the country was to become prosperous.

joy-ann.gill@barbados.gov.bb

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