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Involve Employers in the Education Process

04/04/2017 01:07 AM
TVET Council Barbados Latest News

A Canadian educator is urging mid-level managers working in the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system in Barbados, to involve employers in their curriculum designs.

Katie Boone, Manager of International Partnership and Projects at Durham College in Canada, believes this would result in responsive market driven programmes being offered at education and training institutions, which she said could only enhance the island’s workforce.

“A critical component of developing successful competency based or outcomes based curriculum is the involvement of industry and employer representatives throughout the curriculum design phases and the life span of the programme,” she said.

Ms Boone outlined one way to get this done was to implement Programme Advisory Committees, something already in place at Durham College for all 140 programmes offered there.

“These groups are a mix of industry or employer representatives, government officials and campus community members. The PACs provides an opportunity for academic leaders and faculty to hear in real time what are the current industry demands and the future trends, in order to build a very responsive market driven programme,” she explained.

Through these partnerships, curricula should be aligned to meet industry standards, fill voids and meet demands; students should be able to gain access to “real world work experience” through industry internships and tutors would have opportunities to upgrade their skills so they in turn could pass on relevant knowledge and skills.

“Focus on stakeholder engagement and industry partnership; it is a critical step not only in developing labour responsive programmes but really in ensuring that faculty (teachers) has the necessary skillsets to train the students to meet industry demands."

She argued that if you could build strong industry relationships; curriculum development and subject selection would benefit thus helping graduates to adapt to the work environment quicker.

Furthermore, employers should be satisfied as potential employees would have greater abilities to actually master the job functions.  (PR/TVETC Barbados)