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Make It Attractive To Embrace Apprentices

12/15/2017 06:38 PM
TVET Council Barbados Latest News

The time has come for the TVET Council Barbados and local training institutions to put a proposal to Cabinet which articulates the need to make it attractive for industry partners to take on students as apprentices.

Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development, Dr Esther Byer Suckoo made this suggestion recently while speaking at a media briefing and presentation ceremony held to highlight Barbados’ performance in the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 competition and to present team members with their WorldSkills International certificates.

The Labour Minister stressed that apprenticeship was critical to the development of skills among young persons and said that Government could assist in this area by offering incentives to businesses that participate in the training of students. 

“For technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to reach the level that it should be at, we need to build a stronger apprenticeship system.  What we need are stronger partnerships with industry partners not only to tell us what [jobs] we need to prepare for, but to assist in training future employees to the highest possible standard,” she stated.

Addressing the fact that Barbados failed to medal in the world’s biggest vocational skills competition, WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017, Dr Byer Suckoo pointed out that many of the other competitors had “work” experience in their skill area. 

“Those who competed were not only at level two or level three, but they had experience in the industry and with the current technology being used in that industry.  They were successful, not only because of their training institution but because they had an opportunity to go in and work in the industry,” Dr. Byer Suckoo stressed.

The Minister also acknowledged that her ministry was tasked with putting the necessary structures in place to give opportunities to persons pursuing a career in any skill area.  She explained that there was an ever-increasing demand for such studies and, to that end, her Ministry had created a number of policies under its Human Resource Development (HRD) strategy to facilitate this process. 

She cited the development of the Market Information System as an example.  According to her the information gathered in the system would “tell training institutions what jobs are on the horizon”.  This information would then be used in the development of programmes designed to facilitate training in those areas.

Dr. Byer Suckoo congratulated the competitors who participated at WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 and reminded them that even though they did not medal, they gained valuable experience competing against “the best the world has to offer”.  (PR/TVET Council)