Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Honourable Petter Saint Jean has appointed a second Technical and Vocational Education Training Council for the next three years.
Technical Vocational Education prepares individuals for specifics trades.
The TVET Council will serve to guide the Ministry through new policies and advise the Minister on Technical Vocation Education Training in Dominica.
The ten member Council will be chaired by Eddison Henry. Stevenson Astaphan is Vice Chairman, Merril Matthew is Secretary and Matthew Leblanc is the Council’s Public Relations Officer.
Other members of the Council are Celia Nicholas, Kertist Augustus, Jeffrey Baptiste, Martin Allen, Stephenson Hyacinth and Rawle Leslie.
According to Leblanc, the Council is multi-disciplinary as it comprises of persons in the technical as well as academic fields. There are members of the public service with experience in Education, Labour, Trade Union and Technical skills. The Council also consists of members of the private sector experienced in business and construction.
In an interview with GIS News on Tuesday, Leblanc revealed that the Council expects Technical Vocational Education to significantly affect the economy by contributing to job creation for skilled workers through self-employment.
He explained, “In light of regional integration through the OECS Economic Union, CARICOM and CSME, it is very important that Dominica does not stay out of the whole process of the development of Technical Vocational Education. The world trend has been to develop this area as it provides young persons with entrepreneurship skills and self-employment capabilities. Once these skills are developed, these persons can then seek to create their own jobs and by [so doing] create employment for others.”
Among the first items on the Council’s agenda is a training workshop geared at empowering and preparing members for their new roles.
The Council also hopes to create a national policy that will not only standardise Technical Vocation in Dominica, but also certify new and existing skilled workers.
According to Leblanc, Technical Vocation spans through several occupations including Masonry, Costume Building, Construction, Plumbing and Agriculture. Leblanc believes that such workers should be certified to enhance their credibility.
He revealed, “There are standards that have [already] been approved by CARICOM. We need to move towards being able to certify. We do not have a national training association. We are hoping that with the workshop we can develop the skills in determining the option we will use for the certification of our skilled persons. We have many skilled persons who are very involved in production in all the sectors. We export a lot of skills to other countries especially northern Caribbean and further. Our persons are not certified. The Construction and Business industries are concerned that we are becoming less competitive because of the non-certification of our skilled workers.”
The new TVET Council is confident that with the support of Minister Saint Jean, it is ready to transform workforce development and economic competitiveness in Dominica.