Industry Certification Helps Bridge Skills Gap in The Bahamas

“The Certified Craft Instructor Training Course offered by Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) is an initiative by the Bahamas Government to build the Bahamian skills gap and ensure that students are employable,” said the Hon. Jeffrey Lloyd, Minister of Education. Bahamas2

Fifty-four participants are among the second cohort, which began July 20, 2020 at SuperClubs Breezes and is being taught by Mark Hughes, NCCER Master Trainer and Construction Programs Manager at Valencia College.

In a virtual address, Minister Lloyd noted that the craftsmen and women are being certified by international criteria that enable their work to be at the same standard as it is anywhere, and for them to work anywhere.

"Events in The Bahamas recently, in particular Hurricane Dorian last year September and now COVID-19, have reinforced the need for us to build our trades skills capability in this country. That's why the government is addressing this very pressing need for certified training in the trades fields by having our trades teachers achieve the industry-led standard of the NCCER," he said.

Dr. Robert Robertson, BTVI President, shared that over the past two years BTVI has been working on delivering industry-recognized certified training. He said there are a considerable number of jobs available for trained certified craft professionals.

"The intent is to provide people with the training certification that will allow you to be the trainers of those students who will go out into the industry and work in the types of jobs that are available, particularly Abaco and Grand Bahama and elsewhere in The Bahamas.”

"Industry certification is particularly important in all parts of the world as we hope to address a pressing and growing skills gap in the trades, particularly," said the President.

Bahamas2Kevin Basden, Chairman, BTVI Board, Michael Pratt, President, Bahamas Contractor's Association and Alexander Darville, BTVI's Dean of Construction Trades and Workforce Development were in the line-up of the opening ceremony. BTVI instructors, retired Royal Bahamas Defense Force Officers, representatives of One Eleuthera Foundation, officers from the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, members of the Bahamian Contractors Association (BCA) and Ministry of Works employees are enrolled in the in the four-day course. The training is based on the criteria of NCCER, an internationally recognized accrediting body that has designed standardized training and credentialing programs for more than 70 craft areas.

Image credit: BTVI