Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says technical and vocational education and training (TVET) is the most practical avenue for acquiring readily employable skills for the world of work.
Addressing the fifth staging of the National TVET Quality Awards for Secondary Schools at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, in New Kingston, on September 14, Senator Reid said Jamaica and the wider world need skilled and competent workers to fill skill gaps in various sectors.
Some of the sectors include: building and construction, power and energy plants, water distribution and sanitation systems, hospitality and agro-processing.
“In addition, we need highly-skilled technical personnel to drive the agenda of transforming our economy through value-addition to primary commodities, and natural resources,” the Minister said.
Senator Reid argued that a well developed and functioning TVET system is best placed to train the skilled workforce which Jamaica needs to address its socio-economic development challenges.
To this end, he said the Ministry will continually strive to improve the relevance and quality of training, integrate ICT into TVET, and ensure flexibility of training and life-long learning in TVET provision.
The Minister lauded the work and contribution of teachers and students in the technical and vocational areas.
Senator Reid said the Ministry’s policy will continue to encourage the alignment of skills development and training delivery with industry priorities.
“We are on the cusp of great things happening in the TVET sector. The awards you are receiving today should encourage and inspire you to aim higher. There is so much more that you can do,” he told the awardees.
The National TVET Quality Awards initiative was implemented to promote technical and vocational education at the secondary level.
It is specially aimed at encouraging creativity and highlighting achievements among teachers and students.
The top awards went to Steer Town Academy for the TVET Project of the Year; Lewisville High for the Best Kept TVET Laboratory; Holmwood Technical High, Innovation in Science Award; Tarrant High School, STEM Challenge Award, while Dennae Mills copped the Best TVET Student award, and Karla Boswell Lewis received the Best TVET Teacher award.
Associate Teaching Fellow at the Mona School of Business and Management and former Executive Director, HEART Trust/NTA, Robert Gregory received the TVET Pioneer Award.