Grenada minister supports shift to greater technical and vocational training

by: - March 21, 2011
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ST GEORGE’S, Grenada (GIS) — A Grenada government minister is supportive of local and regional efforts at expanding the education of young people to include more technical and vocational subjects.

Glynis Roberts, Minister of Labour, Social Security and Ecclesiastical Affairs, expressed her support while delivering remarks at the opening of a two-day meeting in St George’s of the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies (CANTA).

She told regional delegates, as well as representatives of Grenada’s National Training Agency (NTA), that the importance of training cannot be overemphasized.

“It is often said that that our human resources are our most important resource. Our development as individual countries and the region, as a whole, is significantly dependent on the skills and abilities of our people,” Roberts said.

The mandate of the NTA includes vocational training, as well as certification of those of those involved in technical and skills’ trades.

In addition, the Grenada Ministry of Education has embarked on what it calls a “refocusing” of schools’ curricula to give greater attention to subjects in areas such as arts, craft, sports, tourism education and technical and vocational training.

“We welcome the shift in the education paradigm which, over the years, focused heavily on academics and ignored vocational training,” the Labour Minister said. “This resulted in a scarcity of technical skills among our people.”

Roberts said that in the aftermath of the destruction to homes and other buildings by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Grenada experienced “severe shortages in carpentry, plumbing, masonry and other technical areas, and had to depend on importing those skills from other islands.”

The minister said the paradigm shift means “young people will now have the choice of following the pure academic lines or choosing a particular skill, knowing fully well that the skill can now be certified.”

She described CANTA as a clear demonstration of the importance that Caribbean governments are placing on the education and training of their people.

“I urge you to work together to develop common standards for vocational training and certification,” Roberts appealed. “This certainly will provide opportunities for our people to move and work from island to island in the true spirit of regional integration.”

Source: Caribbean News Now!
Photo Credit: BTN Spotlight