Belize Celebrates Technical and Vocational Education Week Print E-mail
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Thursday, 23 January 2014 00:00

tvet development team.jpg - 70.47 KbThe Ministry of Education is spending over four million dollars on technical and vocational education this financial year which is more than ever before. However, the technical and vocational education institutions continue to be underutilized across the country. According to Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, “There are only three to four hundred trainees across the country that are full time and I know that it is improving but that is not the best bang for our buck.” Minister Faber said, “We need to highlight and trumpet the kind of work that is being done in the ITVETs and CET across the country because the projects that are being done by these students are truly spectacular.” The Ministry believes that highlighting the work of students of ITVETs and CET will attract more youths to access technical and vocational education opportunities. Regional partners, the CARICOM Education for Employment (CEFE), plans to assist Belize in marketing its technical and vocational institutions in order to increase enrollment.

The first initiative, National TVET Week, is being held this week under the theme “What Are We Waiting For?” An official opening of TVET Week was held inside the Training Room of ITVET Belize City where Hon. Patrick Faber and Senator Godwin Hulse addressed a large group of students. Senator Hulse’s address included several tales about appliances that malfunctioned in his childhood home while growing up. Included in those are a blender that only worked once and a refrigerator that shocked them when they touched it. The students had a great time listening to Senator Hulse. However, his most important message to them was to quit waiting on someone to give them a job. He said, “The very reason you are getting this training is to release your creative juices so you can think and create and innovate- make something”. Senator Hulse reminded them that it is the technicians that make stuff and create employment. He said when the vehicle doesn’t work, the phone doesn’t work or something is wrong, then “everyone love us technicians because they want us to fix it quickly”. Senator Hulse, who is also the Minister of Labour, said the Ministry will soon have a department responsible for job placement. He added, “We will say to the companies, forward the vacancy announcement to us and we will advertise and we will recommend qualified prospects to you”.

The CEFE project aimed at improving TVETs is being piloted in Belize and Antigua. CEFE will also work with the Ministry of Labour to improve access to pertinent labour market information so that technical and vocational courses are better aligned with employers' needs. The Government of Belize and the CARICOM Education for Employment expect the renewed emphasis on technical and vocational education to result in increased and more meaningful employment for TVET graduates and skilled workers in the region. The program is being sponsored by the Government of Canada.

TVET week includes an Ecumenical Service at St. Martin’s de Porres Church, TVET Marketing workshop at ITVET Belize City and a special Mystery Basket Cook Off Competition to be concluded on Friday. TVETs and skills training centers across the city will hold events to showcase their programs throughout the week.

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 January 2014 15:26