More SJPP industry courses
Despite a lack of funds, one of the island’s tertiary education institutions is taking steps to expand its product offerings to better satisfy industry demands.
Principal of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP), Hector Belle, told Barbados TODAY that that institution was always looking for ways to help develop the human resources while ensuring the industry was being satisfied with the required skill sets.
The Pine, St Micahel learning institution recently introduced a 15-week training course in photovoltaic installation, which should begin at the end of this month.
“Apart from the renewable energy programme, we are involved also in the area of textile product design, we have just been successful in getting one of those proposals form the Competency Based Training Fund for textile product design to develop about four or five courses which will be relevant to that,” said Belle.
Adding that printing in the Caribbean had been “an area of neglect”, Belle said the school had partnered with a local printery to “project printing forward rather than depend on the old technology”. This, he said, would give students a hands-on experience while allowing the company to have its staff upgrade their skills.
“What we are looking at for the next proposal is in the area of sound technology. In Barbados, if you go to any church you realize that people there are managing the sound systems; and if you go to any fete, the same thing is happening. So sound technology is one area,” he said.
“And of course sticking to new technology, most of the cars you find now are computerized. We have obtained training of two of our staff in the maintenance of these electrical vehicles. We expect that in this year to be able to develop a programme, which will cater to the maintenance of those electrical vehicles. Those are few of the areas we are looking at,” said Belle.
Noting that the SJPP was pressing ahead with the changes despite inadequate funds, Belle pointed out that the institution had been fortunate to get technical assistance, as well as benefit from a number of partnerships funded through various programmes.
“We have been able to obtain technical assistance from advisory committees. Technical assistance otherwise would be something very expensive. Secondly, we have been working with the CARICOM Education For Employment Programme, which is Canadian-funded,” he said.
“We have been working with the IDB-funded Skill For The Future Competency-Based Training Fund. That in itself will go a long way to help us. We have been working with companies such as Williams Industries and Innogen and other companies . . . . Once you have that type of relationship with companies, they will help you. That is the key to our success. We do not have the resources, but we are willing to give to companies and they give back to us,” said Belle.