The Barbados Port Inc. is reporting a 20 per cent reduction in accidents on the job, following its involvement in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council certification programmes.
The Barbados Port Inc. was the winner in the 2013 TVET Employers Recognition Award.
Speaking at the official launch of the biennial event yesterday, divisional manager for human resource and industrial relations Curtis Smith said following the port’s participation in initial training and certification courses, workers were eager to get even more qualified.
“We have recognized that about 30 per cent of our workforce is direct labour and they were mostly involved in the majority of the accidents and incidents that were reported on the job. We have seen a reduction of about 20 per cent of both incidents and accidents on the job in the last year since we have done the training, which is significant,” reported Smith.
He said the port’s involvement in the five-week training exercises came at an opportune time as that agency was undergoing several changes in its operations.
“We have already identified the need to improve on the level of training that we have had,” Smith added.
To date, 11 operators and five cargo supervisors have completed classroom training and 11 operators and five cargo supervisors are currently pursuing further training.
“We have completed training and certification of 46 dockers and four of those dockers have been awarded full certification at Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) level and a further 16 have been awarded unit certification,” said Smith.
He said that after some initial hesitation, port employees were now keener on working towards the CVQ and National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs).
“Attendance at training is almost 100 per cent each time and we are quite happy that we are seeing that willingness on the part of the workers to participate in the training,” he said, adding that management was seeking to make the port the first in the region to have all workers NVQ and CVQ qualified.