Barbados Community College (BCC) student Shae White has emerged as the winner of this year’s World Skills Barbados competition.
White, who scored over 86 per cent in cooking, was announced the overall champion this evening at the closing and awards ceremony for the programme, designed to promote skills development and excellence among students, ages of 16 and 21, who are enrolled in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.
Over 40 students competed in the fourth biennial WorldSkills Barbados Competition held from May 18 to 21, with 31 competitors representing the BCC, the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB) and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI).
They competed in eight skill areas, including automobile technology, beauty therapy, car painting, cooking, fashion technology, graphic design technology, hairdressing and restaurant service.
Three private training institutions – the Career Development Institute, Nikita’s School of Cosmetology and the Caribbean Cosmetology Academy – also took part in the preliminaries which were held in February this year.
From there, finalists underwent months of training both in technical and soft skills – the latter area comprised a Competitors Developmental Programme conducted by the Barbados Employers’ Confederation in collaboration with the TVET Council.
Delivering remarks at this afternoon’s awards ceremony, Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training Santia Bradshaw underscored the importance of such training to her ministry.
“I want to note that the ministry’s new name shows this administration is placing special emphasis on technological and vocational training. These are both areas well presented by the World Skills programme which means that the ministry sees the promotion of skills, development and excellence as a cohort of what it is trying to achieve.
“I can envisage the possibility of Barbados fielding a team of competitors in diverse skill areas which include the technological and higher level skills; a team which is able to bring back . . . gold, silver and bronze medals. Such an occasion will help to prove that Barbados again has one of the best education and training systems in the world. This perception would be based on graduates who possess both technical and soft skills in addition to leadership skills,” she said.
Bradshaw also advised the participants to use their knowledge to develop their leadership potential.
“You would have been given the knowledge and skills but the motivation to put what you have learnt into practice must come from you. A leader is someone who not only has the knowledge but the initiative. You have to put that knowledge into practice,” she stressed.
“I therefore urge you to use this gift as an experience to become leaders in your personal lives and your future careers.” (AGB)