Training gives workers ‘wings’

Director of the School of Advanced Skills of the Caribbean Maritime Institute, Osric Forrest, says the training currently ongoing at the Barbados Port Inc., is in keeping with current global trends and producing competencies that will also give participants greater mobility in their job locally and abroad.

Forrest was at the time speaking to the media during a press briefing at the Barbados Port Inc., where a visiting team from Inter-American Development Bank assessed the SFTF project. It is intended to support 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 for this competency-based training, a partnership which IDB officials lauded.

According to Forrest, the main focus is on productivity and safety. “We look across the industry globally to see the current trends and the expectations of the worker and the employer. The training actually integrated or the knowledge-requirement of the worker to perform a job.”

He said this also includes the technical skills which are required based on industry standards and which are related to the equipment being operated or other task that they may carry out. “On completion of the training exercise they would be assessed based on performance.”

According to Forrest, once competence has been achieved they will have certification which is ‘currency’, they can move right across the globe, with NVQs and CVQs.
He also explained the importance of a CMI Certificate which he said has a number of components, including an occupational Health and Safety certificate, an industry specific certificate based on the equipment they operate and the occupational certificate based on their area of employment.

“So the employees after the training and the assessment process are equipped with ‘wings’ that would give them currency to perform their jobs in the port, move to where opportunities exist in the globe, transition to other areas of training, or to assist with the training and assessment within the port. So overall we are looking at the total port worker. So that they can contribute not only to the Barbados Port Inc., but industry on a whole,” he said.

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