Executive Director of the TVET Council, Henderson Eastmond speaking on behalf of Labour Minister, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo at today’s launch of World Skills Barbados 2018 competition. (H.Reece/TVET Council)

The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council will soon revisit its more than a decade old national policy.

Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Senator Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, made this disclosure in an address at the launch of the World Skills Barbados 2018 competition at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI), today.

In her speech, which was delivered by Executive Director of the TVET Council, Henderson Eastmond, the Labour Minister said the revision of the 15-year-old policy was necessary if Barbados was to compete and hold its own in the global economy.

She submitted: “The National TVET Policy will contain the rules and requirements intended to guide and safeguard what a quality TVET system should look like and how it should function….

“This is necessary to ensure that all of the lessons learned from our investment in WorldSkills, and competence-based education and training in general, are implemented and integrated into the national TVET system to improve it and ensure it meets the needs of Barbados’ people.”

Senator Byer Suckoo told the audience that the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean would assist with the revision of the policy.  As part of the process, the TVET Council will host a youth forum to capture the needs and the expectations of the youth with regard to skills development and career paths.

“Going forward, it is the vision of the TVET Council, and by extension the Ministry of Labour through its responsibility for human resource development, to see that all work-related education, training and development is based on approved standards of competence. [This] includes practical on-the-job learning, performance assessment against the approved standards and recognised certification such as National and Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (N/CVQs), which will be contained in the National Qualifications Framework,” she intimated.

The Minister proffered the view that the revised National TVET Policy would seek to achieve this vision, which in turn, should impact the economy by producing a competent, competitive, productive workforce.

Senator Byer Suckoo commended the finalists, coaches, judges, volunteers, organisers and all involved in the preparation for the World Skills competition over the next two months, and reminded them that they were contributing to developing their country as well as themselves.

Forty finalists drawn from the Barbados Community College’s main campus and Hospitality Division, the Barbados Vocational Training Board, the SJPI, and the Caribbean Cosmetology Academy, will participate in the 4th biennial World Skills competition from May 18 – 24, during the Barbados Manufacturers’ Exhibition at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre. They will be competing in areas such as car painting, cooking, graphic design and fashion technology.

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