Technical and vocational education (Tech-Voc) will be the future driving force of the labour market in Barbados.
This is the view of Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education Science Technology and Vocational Training Rommel Springer who was giving impromptu congratulatory remarks to the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI) in celebration of their 50th anniversary as an educational beacon in Barbados.
“We see the importance of Tech-Voc – technical and vocational skills. Because the world [is going through] what we refer to as the 5th Industrial Revolution where technology is at the forefront and it is driving the labour,” Springer said, adding that the labour force is looking to facilities like the SJPI to be the engine of the Barbados economy.
“Labour is looking to you, academics like myself are looking to you now because the type of persons you are producing here are the ones who will drive the economy,” Springer said, adding that it is imperative for persons to become skilled with Tech-Voc subjects as it offers them the opportunity to be a skilled national across the region.
“In the past, these institutions were seen as second chance institutions and you can learn a skill and seek out a living. But those days are no longer amongst us. We have moved past that,” he said.
Springer, an educator who was attached to the Fredrick Smith Secondary School for a decade, said it would take some time for National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ’s) and Caribbean Vocational Qualifications to be valued in the same light as the Caribbean Secondary School Examination (CSSE).
Furthermore, he commended the institution on behalf of the Ministry of Education for the exemplary work it was doing in training students with the skill sets which will allow them to be valuable assets in a 21st century world. (LG)