TVET council looking to improve its offerings – McClean

The Barbados Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) Council is in the process of implementing a monitoring system in an effort to ensure continuous improvements to its offerings and management processes.

Making the announcement this morning, Manager of Technical Services Wendy McClean said the new framework would also allow for regional and international comparisons, while incorporating global best practices.

McClean was addressing the 50 and Beyond Assessment and Exhibition showcase at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP), where some of the 36 graduates of the garment manufacturing programmes showed off their products.

“There was a need to examine the TVET system in Barbados with regard to the current quality of TVET provisions and to provide a basis for further development of TVET programmes in order to fulfill current and future skills needed in the local, regional and international labour market,” McClean said.

“Therefore, the introduction and assessment of performance indicators for the TVET system will provide the requisite information and data to examine current provision and to guide the continued development and expansion of TVET in Barbados by optimizing the delivery of TVET and maximizing the benefits to trainees and employers.”

Additionally, the system would allow TVET to compare its findings with national goals, develop internal systems to better meet expectations and to enhance its own policies.

“Each indicator within the monitoring system is designed to provide a measurement of a critical aspect of the TVET system in Barbados, and will provide the basis for national and sectoral planning, institutional strengthening and capacity building, budget decision-making and product policy formulation.

“The goal of the TVET monitoring system will be to optimize the position of TVET in Barbados by enhancing institutional outputs and maximizing trainee and employer outcome,” McClean added.

She said officials would also examine the demand for the TVET offerings from both employers and learners; examine the level of enrolment in the TVET programmes; the delivery of those programmes, as well as the outcomes for trainees, learners and employers.

McClean said to ensure continuous high quality statistical output from the TVET monitoring system the Council would also establish a technical advisory panel to monitor the system.

She explained that this panel would ensure a “robust and reliable” system of data collection, analysis and reporting in accordance with current international best practice.

“The proposed advisory panel will comprise representatives from key public and private training providers, technical experts in the following schematic areas – TVET and general education; monitoring and evaluation; statistics; database development; social and economic research and knowledge of emerging skill areas, in addition to key representatives from trade unions and the private sector.”  .

She said for too long technical and vocational studies were “misrepresented as the domain of those who are not academically inclined” and TVET intended to change that perception.

“If we redefine TVET as an economic development activity then we must put the necessary systems in place to finance it and monitor and evaluate its effectiveness. To do so, we need the input of the leadership of the training institutions, faculty and administrative staff, career counselors, employers, learners, relevant government ministries and departments, the private sector and trade unions, jobseekers and employees,” she said.

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