(EMU) — St. Kitts, Sep 5, 2013 — Chairperson of the TVET Council Mr. Clyde Christopher has dubbed the Ministry of Education’s partnership with UNESCO as beneficial, in light of the enthusiasm of UNESCO officials to advance activities leading to the drafting of a National Policy on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

Mr. Christopher in addressing stakeholders at the opening ceremony of a TVET validation workshop added that the value of any policy rests in its ability to satisfy their needs.

UNESCO official Mr. Keith Holmes agreed that employers should be given a voice in determining the way forward in TVET development. He said that in consideration of rapid demographic and labour market changes as well as economic challenges across the globe, there is a strong demand for acquiring and upgrading skills. He added that TVET needs to be linked to the national vision for sustainable development.

In providing general support on policy development and review, Mr. Holmes said UNESCO was pleased to share the findings gathered during the assessment phase out of which a 166-page report had been produced.

Validation workshop participants were asked to address key areas of that report, suggest concerns and make recommendations as well as to agree on the purposes and processes for the development of a federal TVET policy.

Minister of Education Hon. Nigel Carty reminded participants of achievements along the way in the development of TVET.

The Ministry has also appointed a director of TVET Development and counterpart in Nevis as well provided assessor training to facilitate the implementation of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification Programme (CVQ).

The Minister of Education indicated areas of focus including raising the protocol, management and accountability of TVET; improving the climate of private sector partnership and participation; aligning the policy with regional and international imperatives; improving the governance of the system as well as restoring the credentials of TVET programmes.

Other key officials at the event who have been heavily engaged in the process were Secretary General of UNESCO Mr.Antonio Maynard; Permanent Secretary of Education Mrs. Ionie Liburd Willett; Director of The National Skills Programme, Mrs. June James; Director of Project Strong, Mr. Dale Phipps; Director of the Curriculum Development Unit, Dr. Eva Bowrin and TVET Director, Mr. Fitzroy Wilkin.

Dr. Lucy Steward of UNESCO also facilitated the workshop along with Mr. Keith Holmes.

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