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Gittens: Skills training vital

Carlos Atwell and Marlon Madden

Gittens: Skills training vital

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High academic qualifications were no longer enough to guarantee a job, said chief executive officer of the Nation Publishing Company, Vivian-Anne Gittens.
Speaking on Tuesday at the opening ceremony for the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council’s WorldSkills Barbados 2012 Competition, at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Gittens said vocational training could play a “critical” role.
“We in Barbados tend to place heavy emphasis on academic success. We would tell our children the subjects they should excel at, the professions they should enter, the schooling that will enable them to get a ‘good job’.
“But times are changing. In the prevailing economic depression, jobs are hard to come by, even with high academic qualifications in tow. Indeed, sometimes the more highly qualified one may be, the harder it can be to find a commensurate position,” she said.   
Gittens said youth now had to consider and “exploit” opportunities for self-employment and entrepreneurship and this was where vocational skill development could provide the “fundamental building blocks for career fulfilment and successful personal income maintenance”.  
“Furthermore, those candidates who engage their passion and commitment in their vocation are more likely to be extra creative and innovative. They are most likely to make and leave an indelible mark not only on this country and on their countrymen, but on the world,” she said.
Read the full story in today’s DAILY NATION.