Companies urged to utilize training fund

Private sector operators are being urged to take advantage of the Competency-Based Training Fund (CBTF) that is available to them.

That fund forms a part of the Skills For The Future programme, implemented by the Government through the Ministry of Education, in association with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Project manager for the Skills For The Future project, Paul Murphy, pleaded with employers to apply for the funds during the island’s first procurement fair held recently at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

He said “the most attractive thing” about the initiative was that the funds were given as grants.

“They are free to you and you can get up to $800,000 for these initiatives to provide training for your employees, so that you can improve their skills; so that your businesses can grow and improve and earn the type of money that you want to earn at the end of the day. This is a very important initiative,” said Murphy.

“We had our first cycle this month and we are about to make the first award of those grant resources. We are hoping to have a second cycle start in September, and I would encourage as many of you from the private sector to speak to your colleagues at the Barbados Community College, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, the Barbados Vocational Training Board and Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity to just have a conversation with them and tap into these necessary resources that can be made available to you.”

He did not say how many companies had applied and how many were successful.

The objective of the CBTF is to support a better alignment of the supply of training with market demands. Under the programme, funds are awarded based on proposals by companies to implement two-year competency-based training programmes that lead to certification.

The CBTF will distribute US$6.5 million over a three-year period on a competitive basis to partnerships formed between employers and training providers.

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