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TCI: Ministry of Education says TVET evidence driving reforms, importance of partnerships and opportunities for life-long learning

#Providenciales, October 22, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – A rebooted Technical and Vocational Education Training will respond to the skills gaps in the Turks and Caicos Islands with professionally trained employees competing globally for lucrative careers.

The recurring message was echoed when TCI Ministry of Education officials spoke of the program at a special ceremony in May 2019 held at the Occasions Ballroom in Providenciales.

“In the Caribbean, if you are able to train in a particular field, like those offered in TVET, you can transition across member states with your qualifications,” said Damian Williams, Head of the Technical Department at Clement Howell High School and the CVQ coordinator.

Government has the important role of ensuring TVET programs are sought after and viewed as a sure path to successful careers and enhanced living in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This goal is only achievable when employers across the country provide job opportunities for graduates with vocational qualifications.

Principal of Clement Howell High, Kadean Cunningham believes that a system to embrace the programs and its students is foundational.

“In order to establish a TVET system that is capable of stimulating economic growth, there is need to first formulate and establish a clear policy framework.  This framework must be aligned to the National Development needs, said Mrs. Cunningham.

The principal also stated that stereotypes about TVET being for lower level learners must be dispelled and special attention must be paid to emerging vocational occupations, particularly “…those which will provide employment at higher income levels.” 

The Education Sector Plan 2018-2022 demonstrates that the Ministry of Education is already broadening opportunities for vocational education.  Strategic Imperative No. 7 is committed to:  Provide opportunities for all learners in TVET, Technical and Vocational Education Training.

The European Union’s (EU) assistance brings the legal and policy framework for TVET to life.  Additionally, a TVET Agency and Centre of Excellence will be established with the EU’s financial assistance. 

Work toward expanding TVET within the public-school system started 2016.  A study tour which took place in December 2018, on-line training for teachers launched in April 2019 and a workshop held in May 2019 are driving the transformations which will give thousands of learners new and improved opportunities to be qualified for lucrative careers.

“In looking at the National Skills Audit, we learn that the top four areas of work employment over the past four years were in technical vocational areas.  Whether it is construction or mechanics; it is the area in most demand,” said Mr. Wesley Clerveaux, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education at the TVET Workshop held May 22-23, 2019.

Mr. Clerveaux said that the Turks and Caicos was significantly undersupplied with vocational skills, and informed attendees that Ministry of Education decisions on TVET learning and its investments were all evidence-based.

The Education Sector Plan 2018-2022 speaks to the establishment of a TVET Committee; which is tasked with the planning, coordination and formation of standards and qualifications for TVET disciplines.

The Ministry of Education, by the end of the 2018-2019 academic year, had established four CVQ-compliant TVET courses in public secondary schools.

Release: TCIG

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