Pictured are some of the students participating in??Worldskills Competition 2012.
(A. Gaskin/BGIS)

Dispelling the notion that technical and vocational skills are inferior to academic learning and administrative abilities is a key objective of the upcoming WorldSkills Barbados Competition 2012.

So said Chairman of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, Dr. Hensley Sobers, over the weekend, at a Cocktail Reception for sponsors of the contest at the Crane Residential Resort, St. Philip.

"We are confident that this will promote excellence in skills development and positive attitudes to technical and vocational education and training.?? In other words, de-stigmatise the [negative] concept of technical and vocational training or that when we use our hands that it is less than anything else…," stressed Dr. Sobers.

The inaugural WorldSkills Barbados Competition 2012 slated for March 7 to 9 will be held at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) and the PomMarine Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church.?? It has as its theme: Shaping a World Class Workforce through: Innovation, Creativity and Skills Development.

Based on the WorldSkills International Competition, which is described as a global "skills Olympics", the preliminary round of the local competition was held in December 2011 and saw 30 students going forward to the finals.?? The young skilled professionals, who are between the ages of 16 and 25 years, attend the Barbados Vocational Training Board, the Barbados Community College and the SJPP.??

Finalists will "face off" in front of a live audience and will be judged in the areas of culinary arts, fashion technology, beauty therapy, automotive technology and hair dressing.??

Dr. Sobers was hopeful that the WorldSkills Barbados Competition would also strengthen strategic partnerships between businesses and institutions delivering that type of training.?? He emphasised that such a partnership would "accentuate the value of technical and vocational skills and training to making Barbados a competitive world class destination".

The Chairman of the TVET Council remarked: "The competition would allow young skilled professionals in Barbados to showcase their job skills in a real world competition setting and motivate them to strive continually for excellence."

He further stated that participants and training institutions would be able to compare the skills being taught in Barbados with the "highest global standards set by countries around the world".??


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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