The importance of skills training and qualification was underscored at the National Qualifications Department (NQD) Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) National Symposium 2019.

Hailed as very timely, the Symposium was held under the theme: “Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Engaging Employers and other Stakeholders to Improve Employability of youths and Adults for Sustainability in the Vincentian Economy and beyond”.

The opening ceremony heard remarks from Director of the National Qualifications Department (NQD), Mr. Kenroy Questelles, Mr. Richard Hanson, Team Leader – Skills for Youth Employment (SKYE) programme, Minister of Education Hon. St. Clair Prince and Minister of Finance Hon. Camillo Gonsalves.

In his welcome remarks, Director of the NQD, Mr. Kenroy Questelles aknowledged the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for partnering with the Government to further TVET instruction in the country.

“The word sustainability is gonna come out a lot… as we share, and we listen, and we partake in helping to develop technical and vocational education and training in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Questelles noted.

“The word sustainability is gonna come out a lot… as we share, and we listen, and we partake in helping to develop technical and vocational education and training in St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” Questelles noted.

Mr. Richard Hanson, Team Leader SKYE programme, commended the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) for hosting the Symposium which he described as “useful”. The SKYE programme is pleased to support this initiative of the SSDA, Hanson said, “to consider workforce development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines”.

participants at the symposium

According to Hanson, the SYKE programme is funded by the British Government through UK Aid and will fund approximately 1500 training places in four Government training institutes and the Department of Adult and Continuing Education.

The programme commenced in July 2019 and will go until 2022. Hanson emphasised that “skills training qualification is a benefit to everybody”.

Minister of Education Hon. St. Clair Prince acknowledged persons who gave human service to TVET in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. “There was a time when TVET was a bad word… however I noticed that over the past few years, TVET is becoming mainstream and it is no longer a taboo.
It is no longer an area where people go when nobody wants them,” Minister Prince asserted.


It is no longer an area where people go when nobody wants them,” Minister Prince asserted.

Minister of Finance speaking at the symposium

Minister of Finance, Hon. Camillo Gonsalves reiterated the need to address the stigma attached to TVET and persons taking such courses. He called for the involvement of the local community “just as much as we involve the business community.”

Accordingly, the Minister of Finance disclosed that “St. Vincent and the Grenadines is going to implement a small grants programme to young people with vocational skills who want to get involved as entrepreneurs or as small business people in various sectors of community life”.

Accordingly, the Minister of Finance disclosed that “St. Vincent and the Grenadines is going to implement a small grants programme to young people with vocational skills who want to get involved as entrepreneurs or as small business people in various sectors of community life”.

Persons will be provided with a little start up cash and a place “to do your business”, Minister Gonsalves stated. A pilot project is scheduled to start soon to “create small wooden service centres in areas where the State has some land.”

The one-day Symposium included several thematic sessions such as: Enhancing the role of TVET for sustainable development – reorienting workforce development for economic stability; building synergies between TVET and the private sector; and the current status of TVET in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
It wa


It wa
s held on Wednesday, November 27th, 2019 at the Methodist Church Hall.

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