Youths urged to embrace tech-voc

Principal of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP) Hector Belle is urging the young people of Barbados to embrace technical and vocational training, saying it can lead to a lucrative career.

In fact, Belle said people employed in the technical fields earn more than traditional academics.

“Today there are mechanics who make more money than managers, and the same goes for electrical engineers and architects; these are the guys that are not only making money but employing people. They don’t depend on anyone and the demand for the service is so serious that you have to book an appointment,” Belle said in an interview with Barbados TODAY after he welcomed new students to the institution.

He said while academic qualification had been the be all and end all for the people of the Caribbean for a long time, that attitude was changing.

More and more Caribbean nationals were beginning to accept technical skills as an asset, the SJPP princial said.

“Through the Caribbean, people recognize that having academic qualifications is not everything. It is good to have, it is good to put on the wall, but it will not get you a job, nor will it enable you to create a job.

“There is a great demand for computer services and computer management because computers run the world and anytime you want to communicate that’s what you go for,” Belle said.

The learning institution accepts approximiately 600 first-year students, and this year there were more applications than it could accommodate, the educational institution head stated, expressing regret that some applicants had to be rejected. 

Belle said the SJPP had been offering a course in work ethics which “ aims to prepare students for the world of work” and this year it would ensure that work ethic was “integrated in every aspect –  that it is being demonstrated by the instructors themselves and even the staff, from the security at the gate to general workers to the maids”.

“ We want to make good work ethic part of the culture at SJPP [because] students mimic what they see, so we are demonstrating, because that’s the best teaching tool,” Belle told Barbados TODAY

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