12/16/2013 08:42 AM
TVET Council Barbados Latest News
DURING the first quarter of 2014, the TVET Council will be piloting a new programme called the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) programme.
Executive Director Henderson Eastmond made this announcement during the delivery of welcome remarks at the TVET Employers Recognition Awards Ceremony and Luncheon held last month. He noted that this was just one of three new initiatives the government agency would be launching in the New Year; the other two being the Competence-based Training Fund (CBTF) and competence-based curriculum development.
He stressed these efforts were in keeping with the fulfillment of the Council’s mission to develop a competent, certified and competitive workforce in Barbados and the region through the promotion and coordination of demand driven technical and vocational education and training.
Mr. Eastmond explained PLAR was a process that involved the identification, documentation and assessment of prior learning. It is a process by which individuals can gain credit towards National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) and Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs), based on the evidence from past experience - work as well as formal and non-formal learning situations - acquired in a skill over a period of time. These experiences may result from either formal learning such as in training institutions, workshops, seminars, conferences and work experience (paid or voluntary) or in an informal environment such as self-directed study and research.
The TVET Council is the Awarding Body for NVQs and CVQs which are competence-based certification designed to prove that workers are competent to do their jobs. To date, the Council has developed 29 National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs), 20 of which have been approved for regional use as Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQs), and validated 48 CVQs for local use. There are at present 21 approved N/CVQ Assessment Centres, 13 of which have completed the full process to begin conducting assessments. To speed up the expansion of the N/CVQ Assessment Programme, the Council had embarked on the development of competence-based curricula as well in order to address deficiencies in the local education and training system in this area.
Learners who are trained and assessed against the occupational standards which make up the NVQs and CVQs, and, are able to successfully demonstrate the knowledge, the skills and the attitude required by the standards are certified as competent.
The Executive Director further noted that the Competence-based Training Fund (CBTF) Management Unit had been set up under the TVET Council. This fund is intended to finance opportunities for training and development partnerships between employers and training providers. It will provide opportunities to train, assess and certify workers to approved occupational standards as part of the Inter-American Development Bank funded Skills for the Future Programme which supports the execution of the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy.
Mr. Eastmond noted that in keeping with its mandate to promote the use of competence-based TVET by employers and training providers, the Council also managed the Employment and Training Fund (ETF). As at October 31, 2013, the Employment and Training Fund had disbursed over 19 million dollars – i.e. $19,736,100 - to train 37,411 persons since March 1997.