Already, places are filling up for the September cohort of the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s Evening Programme. Coordinator, BVCT officer, Sandra Cumberbatch, indicated that persons were already registering and payments made for some of the 21 courses being offered this September.
These classes are scheduled to start on September 30 at the Sayes Court, All Saints, and Deacons Centres as well as the BVTB’s Culloden Road Training room. Classes run from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday for three months.
Cumberbatch added that the BVTB had also added two new offerings this September, increasing its courses to include lingerie making and wig making. This step was based on market demand, as many persons seek self sufficiency both in terms of doing things for themselves and in the quest for areas which could generate additional income.
The addition of wig making is a spin-off from the extremely well received braiding and weaving beginners and advanced classes which have a waiting list for each cohort.
In addition, car enthusiasts and new drivers have been enrolling in the auto-mechanics beginners and advanced courses in order to be more informed about their vehicle maintenance.
Director of Training, Henderson Thompson explained: “We aim to offer a diverse range of courses, exposing persons to new skills and enabling them to supplement existing ones with our advanced classes. We listen to the public and try to meet their demands within the parameters of the resources available to us. As a result of this, our Evening Programme has grown from strength to strength.”
Thompson added: “One way in which we respond, is by shifting courses according to seasonal demands. For example, at some times of the year we recognise that some courses are not popular while their popularity resurges at other times.
“Do-it-yourself type courses are very relevant for September as persons set their sights on Christmas home improvement and money-making ventures. Our housekeeping course is often filled very quickly at this time of the year as persons try to ensure they are trained to meet the demands of the winter tourist season in the hospitality industry. We have even had cases where some establishments have enrolled their staff in our evening programme as a refresher.”
The BVTB’s evening programme is run three times per year and attracts a cross-section of ages and demographics, including the 20 to 30 age-group, curious professionals and retirees who wish to keep active. The programme, which has been in existence for the last 20 years, has grown in registrants by over 100 per cent in the last year and a half and 99 per cent of those who start a course, complete it.