MAKING PROGRESS - CBTF results satisfying

A visiting team of officials from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have expressed satisfaction with the progress being made under a project, which is intended to improve productivity in the Barbados Port Inc., and lead to a reduction in accidents on the site.

The trade mission, which began yesterday, will continue until July 31, assessing the progress of the work being undertaken under the Government of Barbados/IDB Skills for the Future (SFTF) Programme by the Ministry of Education.

It will also review the progress of the Annual Operating Plan for 2015, particularly the status of the Competency-Based Training Fund (CBTF).

Acting Programme Director of the Co-ordinating Unit of the Ministry of Education, Junior Burgess, reminded that in November 2012, the IDB and the Government of Barbados entered into a loan contract for the implementation of the SFTF project. Objectives included the support of the island’s Human Resource Development Strategy with an emphasis on improving the quality and relevance of secondary education and the effectiveness of technical vocational education and training.

The Barbados Port Inc. and Caribbean Maritime Institute came together in a partnership and submitted a proposal of funding to the tune of $501 000 for this competency-based training.

According to Burgess, “The programme is divided into four components and we are here at the Port Inc. re: component one, which is support for an employer-driven training system, and that aim is to support the better alignment of the supply of training with a market demand.”

Speaking to the media briefly after reviewing the programme was IDB Lead Specialist, Dr. Sabine Reible-Aubourg, who said: “For the CBTF fund, we are very excited because their component is implanting very well. Earlier in the calendar year the third cycle of proposals was included and six proposals were successful in obtaining funding bringing up the total of proposals to 25 that are currently being financed under the CBTF.”

She further noted that, “This component has been implemented very well and we will continue to monitor very closely the winning partnerships as we consider it a very innovative project given that it is aiming to bring together the private business sector and training institutions.”

IDB Consultant, Dr. Juan Prawda, while acknowledging that the Government of Barbados will want to see results of this project, mused that he will “pester” those in the project during his administrative missions to the island. “We leave this meeting very satisfied... It has been a very interesting learning curve and I hope that it will render very important fruit for the skills development of this country.”

Human Resources Manager of the Barbados Port Inc., Peter Carrington, while reporting on progress, noted that 16 candidates completed their training in the first quarter, October to November last year. This year two sets of training were started, one in April to May and the other July to August, which is currently ongoing.

“We are awaiting from the TVET Council the instruments to do the operational skills and we are hoping to get the instrument by the end of August and we can commence the training from September in the operations skills.”

He noted that greater focus will be placed on non-operational skills. “We are hoping to monitor now to look in terms of the benefits to be derived from this training and one would be reduction of accidents, we are looking at employment production and the management of accidents,” Carrington said.

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