Barbadians could be missing out on more
than 1,000 job opportunities in Canada.
Director of the Barbados Vocational Training
Board, Henderson Thompson, said today, that long distance truck drivers were needed in Canada, for example, but the C. Lomer Alleyne Resource Centre at Sayes Court, Christ Church, was unable
to meet the overwhelming local training demands, because the facility had outstripped its physical ability to expand anymore.
Thompson revealed that right now, there was a backlog of 1,100 people who could not get onto the heavy duty truck driver course, only part
of an overall 6,200 waiting to be trained in nine varied skills disciplines.
”They need long distance truck drivers in Canada and we can train a lot of people for those jobs, but we don’t have the space. There are jobs overseas – and locally – and we can train people to do the work in various technical skills. But there is a backlog . . . people can’t get onto the programme,” Thompson told Barbados TODAY.
Some 900 Barbadians may also be losing out on jobs for care of the elderly, 800 as air conditioning technicians, 430 as cosmetologists, 750 as international cooks and 650 as electrical installers.
About 550 automechanics, 670 housekeepers and 350 skid steer loaders are also unable to receive the requisite training so they can take advantage of the various employment opportunities available regionally and internationally.
During the past three years, 3,401 employment-seekers or persons retooling their skills, were trained by the board. That’s nearly half the number of those on the waiting list.
The skills training programme is boasting the largest numbers of Barbadians who took that class between April 2010 and March 2013 – 2,195, with the evening course following with 968.
The apprenticeship programme has only attracted 228 people in that same period.
Just yesterday, Thompson issued an appeal to Government and the private sector for assistance in finding land so the board can construct a modern industrial training facility.
Thompson argued that whie the centre at Sayes Court currently trains persons in Bobcat and back hoe operations, it is not done in a safe environment.
“Heavy duty equipment on this compound. Jossling for space within the car park and around the compound; the construction trades; and that is a danger and something we need to correct. And one of the things we are going to request from the ministry and the Government is space, and the private sector,” stated the BVTB director.
“If we can get about ten to 15 acres of land, where we can move those heavy duty construction trades, that we can expand our programmes in that area,” disclosed Thompson.