The recently concluded WorldSkills Barbados 2014 highlighted the level of excellence that Barbados??? youth can produce.

This from Chairman of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, Dr. Hensley Sobers, as he delivered remarks at the event???s awards ceremony on Tuesday, March 18, at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Wildey, St. Michael.

???Throughout the past week, all of you have demonstrated your abilities as young, skilled professionals who have the capacity to meet the international standards of excellence, set by WorldSkills Americas and WorldSkills International bodies,??? he noted, while thanking the sponsors, venue managers, coaches, trainers and volunteers who all helped make the competition a reality.

???I wish to signal to Barbados??? representative at WorldSkills Americas and the technical support team which will lead the country in just under two weeks that they are expected to carry the flag of pride and industry for Barbados, when they participate in the competition which will take place in Bogota, Colombia, April 1 to 6,??? he said, speaking of the hemispheric competition which will see competitors from the Caribbean, North, Central and South America compete in 32 skills categories.

Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Harry Husbands, agreed and observed that putting local skills to the test on an international stage could only augur well for the country.

???WorldSkills has a long history of over 60 years. This competition, in Barbados, over the last two years, has come to signify the high point of excellence of vocational training in Barbados???. Competitions such as these help to shape the minds and character of participants and by extension help to shape a world class workforce,??? Senator Husbands stated.

Noting that the competition???s benefits extended beyond the students??? skills set, the Parliamentary Secretary said that it ???also assists with the development of their core skills ??? skills such as problem solving, working in teams and thinking critically.??? He further added that, it must be coupled with the knowledge and skills needed for the competition.

Expressing his hope that eventually Barbados could also be represented on the international stage, Mr. Husbands noted that ???this would require facilities that are of a world class standard and outfitted with up-to-date technologies, tools and equipment.???

I???m confident that we have in Barbados a cadre of instructors and trainers that can train our students to WorldSkills International standard,??? he added pointing out that this would be a win-win endeavour, where businesses and training institutions would form strategic partnerships to help develop Barbados??? future workforce.

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