One hundred and forty-four (144) young adults received their Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) on Thursday 11th October 2018 and are now better equipped to access employment.
In addressing the opening ceremony Minister of Education, Hon. St. Clair ‘Jimmy’ Prince, stated that the CVQ certification is an initiative under the At-Risk Youths and Adults (ANEW) programme. This programme, Minister Prince explained, “continues to facilitate access to training in the technical areas for Youths and Adults who are at risk, vulnerable and marginalized… We recognize that there are a number of young Adults between the Ages 17-45 who have dropped out from the formal education system without achieving minimum levels of certification, and who are therefore at a disadvantage with regard to employability. This programme meets them where they are and seeks to lift them to a level of skills and competence where they can go forward.”
The Minister of Education noted that the government is placing emphasis on TVET and has introduced CVQ at the four Technical Institutes and has upgraded labs in some secondary schools to TVET. Additionally, Minister Prince highlighted the role of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in funding major civil works, equipment/tools, furniture, supplies and curriculum support materials for Technical Institutes at Kingstown Campden Park, Barrouallie and Georgetown – Also at the Bequia Community High School and the Division of Technical and Vocational Education. He said they have also received resources from the World Bank that will go directly towards improving TVET in secondary schools.”
According to Minister Prince, the secondary schools TVET programme will include courses in Building Technology; Construction; Technical Drawing; Electrical Installation; Electronics; Food and Nutrition; IT; and Visual Arts. He said, “I am proud to say that combined, all 26 secondary schools cater for all general and technical proficiency subjects offered by CXC”. He stressed that the “Government aims to provide all persons of this state with opportunities appropriate to their development needs!” In light of this, Minister Prince called for “all citizens to see TVET in a different light so that we can remove the stigma which has unfortunately lessened the appeal of this pathway to development”.
Minister Prince mentioned a graduation ceremony he attended earlier this week where “some 92 young people who were trained for five weeks by the Division of Technical and Vocational Education at the SVGCC. Those at risk persons were trained in the areas of Refrigeration, Electrical Installation, Plumbing, and Hospitality. It was funded by the private sector group, the Mustique Charitable Foundation.”
He congratulated and urged the batch of CQV certificate holders to allow their training to make a “significant difference in your lives. But it ought not to be the end of training but the beginning of a journey towards self- fulfillment.” He encouraged them to seek other avenues for training and development and put your new- found skills to good use. The Minister of Education expressed thanks to the CDB for “partnering with the Government in making this programme possible – also for providing financial support for the trainees during their year of training.”
The awardees were drawn from the Kingstown, Georgetown, Campden Park, and Barrouallie Technical Institutes. They accepted their certificates at a ceremony held at the New Testament Church of God, Wilson Hill, Kingstown.