From Left: Senior Technical Officer of the TVET Council, Paul Puckerin; Ministry of Education representative, Henderson Wiltshire; Deputy Chief Agricultural??Officer, Charleston Lucas and IICA???s Representative at the launch. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Fifteen young Barbadians may become the first students within the island’s secondary school system to be awarded a National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) in Amenity Horticulture Level 1 at the end of this summer vacation.

Senior Technical Officer at the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, Paul Puckerin, disclosed that the 15 students participating in the IICA Youth Farm Programme would be assessed against occupational standards for NVQ and IICA certification.

Speaking at the launch of the IICA Youth Farm Programme on Friday, July 13 at the IICA Headquarters, Baobab Towers, Warrens, St. Michael, he outlined that the project was an initiative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and held in collaboration with the TVET Council, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture and the participating secondary schools: Grantley Adams Memorial School, St. Lucy Secondary School, and the St. George Secondary School.

Mr. Puckerin explained: "These young agricultural students would have spent the last two or so years of their secondary school lives learning the theories, principles and skills required to work in their chosen fields.?? Over the next seven or eight weeks, they will be further trained in modern approaches to agriculture and horticulture practice."

Participants of the inaugural IICA Youth Agriculture Programme. The students were selected from the Grantley Adams Memorial School, St. George Secondary and the St. Lucy Secondary School. (A. Miller/BGIS)

Stating that the students would have the chance to take part in on-the-job training in ornamental horticulture, sustainable farming and animal husbandry, he urged the boys and girls to "take hold of this life-changing opportunity as you will be seen as pioneers for your schools".

Mr. Puckerin also pointed out that the IICA Youth Farm Programme was a valuable vehicle by which the TVET Council could achieve its mandate of promoting a competence-based TVET system in Barbados as a key means of workforce training.

"We at the TVET Council are convinced that through investing in technical and vocational education and training, carried out to recognised standards, employers and indeed all of Barbados will reap many benefits including having a truly world class workforce that leads to improved performances and productivity, which helps to make our country more competitive, regionally and internationally," he maintained.??


Author: Shamkoe Pil??

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