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Employers Rewarded for Training Investment

04/04/2012 07:42 PM
TVET Council Barbados Latest News

“AS A NATIONAL priority, leaders in both the private and public sectors must focus on significantly improving productivity, profitability and sustainability through the development of competent, motivated and engaged people. This all starts with having the relevant knowledge and skills and adding the progressives attitudes needed to become truly world class”


This advice was offered to leaders in Barbados’ private and public sectors by Manager of Caribbean Catalyst Inc. Ms. Rosalind Jackson during remarks delivered on behalf of the judges at the recently held TVET Employers Recognition Awards Ceremony which took place at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa, Rockley Christ Church. The inaugural awards programme, recognised and celebrated employers who invested in technical and vocational education and training, for employees as well as for young persons in the 19 to 35 age range through the provision of job attachments and other on-the-job training opportunities.


She praised the finalists in the Awards programme, which was organized by the TVET Council, for understanding the importance of developing the knowledge, skills and attributes of their people despite being sometimes faced with limited resources.


“Many of our participating companies understand, and are systematically implementing, effective continuous training approaches. These can be further enhanced as they document development plans and track results that are often clearly attributed to strong, consistent and persistent technical and vocational education and training (TVET).”


The Human Resources Management practitioner of many years experience noted that the three-member panel of judges, which also included Mrs. Celeste Foster, President of the Small Business Association and Mr. Tony Seale, HR Advisor with the Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd, was heartened by the many instances where employers had gone way beyond the call of duty to encourage the youngsters with whom they came into contact to empower themselves through training, development and commitment to excellence.


Ms. Jackson also expressed relief at “seeing the back of the mentality ‘why train X because he may soon leave and we will not benefit’.” She added: “Many employers now understand that a more productive Barbadian workforce creates a more robust economy for all to benefit from and that a healthy and productive alumni is just as important for their businesses as healthy work teams today.”


The ten companies which were finalists in the TVET Employers Recognition Awards were judged on criteria which included the extent and quality of technical and vocational education and training, business or employee achievements or outcomes which were attributed to the training, integration of training into the business plan, innovation in and excellence of the design and delivery of the training, commitment to equity in training, and, a specific training initiative undertaken in the period under review.


During the welcome remarks the TVET Council’s Executive Director Mr. Henderson Eastmond thanked all the competitors for their participation in the Awards programme. He noted: "Let this be your first step to taking your organisations' training and development programmes as well as Barbados' education and training system in a direction in which we are all satisfied and justly proud."


Of the ten finalists, Explorer Management Services Inc. won the top spot in the Services Sector (Small) category; Caves of Barbados Ltd. won in the Services Sector (Medium) category, Asphalt Processors Inc. won in the Productive Sector (Small) category, Simmons Electrical Co. Ltd took first place in the Productive Sector (Medium) and Bistro Monet took the TVET Employers Recognition Special Award for Investment in Youth Development which recognized the restaurant’s commitment to job attachments and on-the-job training.


During the feature address, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo stressed that internships, job attachments and work placements were essential to on-the-job learning and the development of Barbados’ workforce.


"This practical training mechanism is oftentimes the only real opportunity accorded to students and trainees to enable them to practise the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom," the Minister said.


Dr. Byer Suckoo pointed to the findings of a recent United Kingdom study which was conducted on the experiences of young people in the world of work: "The study found that the more young people came into contact with employers while they were at school, the less likely they were to go on to be unemployed. [It] further indicated that those who had no contact through activities such as work experiences, visits from professionals or occupational practitioners and enterprise competition, were, most likely, not engaged in any educational, training or employment pursuits."