GLEANER: As Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) continues to be integrated into general education, not only in Jamaica but also within the region, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid has reiterated its importance.

 

According to Reid, TVET will become a driving force in propelling the effort to strengthen the economies of the region and the world.

 

While commending the progress made to standardise vocational education and its impact on human capital development and economic competitiveness in the region, Reid said the integration will provide the relevant platform to respond to the demands of the modern workforce.

 

Addressing the WorldSkills International Competition and Ministers Technical and Vocational, Education and Training Summit in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates earlier this week, the minister said with the addition of TVET, the country’s education system is undergoing a much needed transformation in response to changing job market demands and global economic trends.

 

The promotion of TVET, he said, is a strategic move to prepare the Jamaican workforce to seize the employment opportunities that are increasingly opening up in the technical and vocational fields.

 

RELEVANT TO GLOBAL SHIFTS

“While technology is changing and forcing changes in education, the gate keepers of traditional programmes in the major universities must now look at diversifying its degree programmes to students. Policy makers must now drive the discussion of deconstructing the traditional offerings at the tertiary level, making them more relevant to global shifts in the employment market,” Reid said.

 

Reid, who spoke on the topic ‘Voice of the Youth: Ground Realities in the Age of Disruption’, said with the Caribbean Maritime Institute now attaining university status, this change has created major waves in Jamaica that has allowed for individuals who attend the institution to achieve more globally competitive advantages when they begin to seek jobs or move towards entrepreneurship.

 

“A radical shift is needed in the education sector, as economic growth areas such as business process outsourcing, tourism, constructions, agriculture, are significant employers of youth who are trained in TVET,” Reid said.

 

“The way forward is TVET and this need to become a global imperative and all voices must be included as equal partnerships in the process of youth empowerment. Jamaica is on that path of development.”

 

... Summit explores policy solutions in skills development

 

The World Skills International Competition and Ministers Technical and Vocational, Education and Training Summit, held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates earlier this week, was organised by the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. It complemented the WorldSkills International Competition and Conference 2017, where leading figures from industry, government and international organisations gathered to shape the global skills agenda, as well as to watch thousands of skill competitors from close to 60 countries vying for gold, silver and bronze medals.

 

The summit provided a forum to explore pressing issues and potential policy solutions in the realm of skills development. It also offered opportunities to engage with partners of the global Vocational Education and Training (TVET) arena and the World Skills community.

 

The panel included: Jamaica’s Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid; Minister of Education of the United Arab Emirates Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi; Director General of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission Michel Servoz; Minister of Labour and Employment, Republic of Korea, Kim Young-Joo; Engineer, Spectrum Quality, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, UAE, Sara Ahmad; and youth forum participant and WorldSkills Champions Trust representative for Europe and Russia, Anna Prokopenia.

 

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com