Andrew Abraham
Andrew Abraham

Skilled, unskilled people encouraged to become certified at CFBC, says dean

From SKNIS              

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – Andrew Abraham, dean of the faculty of technical, vocational, educational and management studies (TVEMS) at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC), is encouraging skilled and unskilled uncertified people in St. Kitts and Nevis to access the programmes at the tertiary institution where they can become certified to make themselves more marketable.

“So, we are talking about [people] who are leaving high schools, whether it be with subjects or without subjects,” he said on the June 27 edition of “Working for You.” “They can still access programmes even at the tertiary level by not going through our traditional institutions and attaining the so-called subjects to meet certain entry requirements.” said Mr. Abraham, while appearing on the radio-television show .

He explained that people have an entry point into formal training via the National Qualification Framework, which includes the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ). “For example, someone who has little or no training in a particular area, but has an interest, can enter into a programme from a level one on that National Qualifications Framework, whether it be a CVQ or the NVQ,” the dean explained.

He mentioned that in terms of the National Qualification Framework, the CVQ and NVQ are all a work in progress. He added that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Enhancement Project will aid in its progression. “The funding that was received through that project helps to build the capacity that would then provide that access in a more seamless way for [people] within our economy and our society to access that kind of training,” he said.

A motivating factor for people who want to pursue technical and vocational training is that there is a demand in St. Kitts and Nevis for skilled workers. He mentioned that businesses outsource workers to do various jobs. Certification is also an incentive for people to move toward technical studies.

“There are a number of [people] within our society who are skilled and who actually are working in some of these areas,” he said. “However, they don’t have the certification. They don’t have that piece of paper. So, sometimes that is a hindrance to them being marketable. Although they have the experience, they don’t have the certification. Sometimes when they travel, they are asked for their certification and they don’t have it. So, we want more of our people to become certified in terms of that they do.”

Abraham said that part of the National Qualification Framework allows skilled workers to receive a certificate in their field. “For example, if you have a mechanic [who] has been practicing for years, he knows his craft, he does [it] well, but Whe wants that certificate to show that piece of evidence that ‘I am competent,'” he said. “hat can be done based on that framework that I mentioned and the capacity that we are actively building right now is that that person will be assessed … and the level of competence based on that assessment would tell us exactly where that individual is. That person can then be formally certified as an auto-mechanic using that framework. If the person chooses to go further, he or she can use that same qualification framework to move up the ladder.”

Abraham said that the CVQ is recognized in other countries. “[It says] you are certified and competent to do the job,” he said.