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Students Encouraged To Go Further In Agriculture

11/01/2012 07:43 PM
TVET Council Barbados Latest News
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, presented Joshua Murray of the Grantley Adams Memorial School with the Best in Sustainable Farming Trainee. He gained an NVQ Certification in Amenity Horticulture. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Students who recently achieved the island's first National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) in Amenity Horticulture have been encouraged to take it to the next level.

Minister of Labour and Social Security, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, urged the students to pursue the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in Amenity Horticulture Level 2, so that their scope for employment could be extended to the Caribbean and not limited only to Barbados.

She was speaking at the closing ceremony for the Youth in Agriculture Farm Programme at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), Baobab Towers, St. Michael.

Noting that the acquisition of the NVQ meant that the students demonstrated the competencies necessary for entry level posts in their chosen agricultural careers, Dr. Byer Suckoo praised the students for investing their summer vacation so they could enhance their personal and professional development.

"It is significant that our young people are involved in agriculture. I am extremely happy that children were being engaged at the level of schools and not just in community groups or as individuals seeking to pursue agriculture," she said.

The Labour Minister continued: "The certification of programmes [and subjects] such as these would attract a generation of people that have been oriented to the value of certificates.

"Farming is one of the oldest and most respected careers in the world.  It is through the hard work of the farming community that Barbados and the rest of the world is provided with food," she said.

Dr. Byer Suckoo stressed that the achievements of the students needed to be celebrated and publicised.  "...We meet to recognise and reward this group of young persons who are now better prepared to enter the world of work.  This is no small matter.  Too often we hear about the ills of our young people, [and] our young men in particular...and I am pleased to see a large number of young men have been certified today...

"I want to congratulate you young graduates of the Youth in Agriculture Farm Programme on your achievement and wish you continued success in your future endeavours," she said.

Twelve of the 15 students drawn from the St. Lucy Secondary School, St. George Secondary School and Grantley Adams Memorial School participated in the Youth in Agriculture Farm Programme. 

The ten-week pilot project, which was organised by IICA in collaboration with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, provided the participants with on-the-job training in sustainable agriculture, ornamental horticulture, animal husbandry and agribusiness.