Government and CDB Launch Enhancement Project for BTVI

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Minister of Education the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd said the expansion of the offerings of technical and vocational education, and the upgrading of the esteem with which it is held in the Bahamian society are top priorities for the Ministry of Education “You and I know of having grown up in a time when we were condemned if you were not academic, then [we were told] go and learn a skill [which] was and is an insult to the vocational integrity of human kind.” Minister Lloyd also noted that vocational training is growing in value and profile and it could not come at a better time. He addressed the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop for the launch of an Enhancement Project agreement for Bahamas Technical Vocational Institute (BTVI) between the Bahamas Government and Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at the British Colonial Hilton hotel. The project includes infrastructural expansions, improved training for staff and faculty, upgraded technological capacity, advanced finance and human resources software, provision of tools and equipment, development of a campus masterplan and security systems among others. Training opportunities for more females in technical vocational education and training (TVET) are also included in the project. Minister Lloyd said the launch was a manifestation of his declaration during his inaugural year as Minister of Education that the government is committed to increasing its investment in the technical, vocational and educational apparatus of The Bahamas. He acknowledged and expressed gratitude to the CDB, the Board and administration of BTVI along with their teams. “We in The Bahamas, could not make a more propitious and significant investment in the education of our children than what we are doing today because this empowers our nation to become self-sufficient, sustainable and globally competitive. “It sets the foundation on which the 21st century industries will develop and will help to generate a lucrative economy. Technically skilled individuals can never be classified as unemployed; for within their hands lie the brilliant techniques of creativity and industry,” he said. Kevin Basden, Chairman, BTVI, said the bank’s loan of approximately $4.7 million along with counterpart funding by The Bahamas government of some $4.7 million is a response to the need for filling the gaps that exist relative to a strong technical workforce in The Bahamas. “Indeed, this level of investment by the Government of The Bahamas and CDB and this workshop, are reflections of the government’s and the CDB’s commitment to providing and mobilizing resources for the enrichment of BTVI. “BTVI is indeed facilitating national growth and we take our mandate seriously. We are required to churn out graduates who put a dent in the labour force’s deficit in particular skills. Our institution has a strategic role in the government’s plan to bolster human capital outcomes. Indeed, technical and vocational education and training is key to those outcomes and the reality is a skilled workforce supports economic growth and the steady improvement of life for our people.” He described the workshop as crucial to ensuring that the relative personnel understand the project design and implementation protocols. Deidre Clarendon, Division Chief, Social Sector Division, CDB, said at this period following Hurricane Dorian, CDB is committed to providing support to assist the government and people of The Bahamas as the country rebuilds lives and livelihoods. “In particular, this support for enhancing TVET will go a long way in meeting the skills required for the rebuilding effort as you seek to ensure greater resilience of infrastructure both economic and social,” said Ms. Clarendon. She said CDB looks forward to the successful implementation of this intervention.