It is with deep regret that the TVET Council Barbados learned of the recent passing of our former Chairman and dearest friend, Norma Holder.

The TVET Council Act CAP 1993-11 was passed in December 1993 and Mrs. Holder was appointed the first Chairman in 1994, a position she held until 2001.

Under her stewardship the secretariat was established and the fledgling organisation took its first tentative steps towards developing a competence-based national technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system in Barbados.

TVETC???s Executive Director Henderson Eastmond said: ???Mrs. Holder was considered by all who worked with her during her tenure at TVET Council (TVETC) to be a fair and knowledgeable person. Education and training was dear to her heart as was clearly seen by her dedication both to the Barbados Community College (BCC) and TVETC.???

The organisation???s early years were not easy ones as Mrs. Holder strived to reshape the national TVET system to a more modern one.??She was ably supported in her endeavours by the other Council Members who comprised heads of the public training institutions.

These were the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, the Barbados Vocational Training Board, the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP) and the BCC; representatives of the employer organisations ???the Barbados Employers Confederation, the Barbados Manufacturers??? Association and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, as well as the Chief Education Officer, the Ministry of Education and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour under which TVETC fell.

By the time she became Deputy Chairman in 2001 and the role of Chairman passed to Rudy Gibbons, the then Executive Director of BIMAP, the TVET Council secretariat had a small staff of eight persons and its technical programme had commenced with the development of occupational standards in three key areas of Tourism and Hospitality, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Customer Service.

Mr. Eastmond stressed: ???Staff and Council Members alike found her to be a fair person who was always willing to listen to the objectives and opinions of those around her but yet able to give constructive criticism.???

He added: ???The Council Members, management and staff of the TVETC family express deepest condolences to her husband Dr. Jean Holder, their two daughters and other family members.???

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