Messages & Greetings

Message From the Honourable Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid 


It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm Jamaican welcome to all of the distinguished speakers and participants to the 3rd Biennial Conference on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Caribbean. There is a growing acceptance that solving educational challenges in the region is urgent and requires the concerted efforts of all stakeholders. 

It is absolutely imperative that we improve the educational and training opportunities for our young people, which are critical to our national development. It is anticipated that this conference will provide a forum for sharing innovative best practices in Technical and Vocational Education and Academia and forge the necessary linkages for continuing the modernization of the tertiary education system. 

The theme, “Quality TVET for Sustainable Regional Development” is a most apt and timely one, as Caribbean nationals join the global debate, to work together and chart the way forward for our citizens. We must advocate for the rethinking of TVET to enhance its role in developing more equitable and sustainable societies.

The Conference will provide a unique platform for knowledge sharing, reflection and debate on the changing landscape of TVET, as well as its future, and more generally on the advancement of skill-development systems. In addition, the meeting will look for ways to ensure that TVET meets individual, national, regional and global development objectives and aspirations. 

My very best wishes to the University of the West Indies and its participants, partners UNESCO, the HEART Trust/National Training Agency(NTA), UTECH, the British Council, the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB) and the Petroleum Corporation Trinidad and Tobago (PETROTRIN) and all the important sponsors, for a successful colloquium.




Message from The UWI Vice Chancellor

Sir Hilary Beckles


On behalf of The University of the West Indies (UWI) I extend congratulations to the team from the School of Education and their collaborators for the staging of another conference.  The focus for this year’s conference on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Sustainable Regional Development highlights the importance of cultivating skill sets relevant to nation building and long term economic growth in our region. It also highlights the role of TVET in supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as we forge improved fiscal growth and long-term social empowerment. The UWI team led by Professor Halden Morris, the first Professor of TVET at the UWI, is to be commended for their sterling efforts in; promulgating a classification framework for technical and vocational skills, elevating the profile of the TVET skills and for building the stock of literature across the region. I am pleased that the UWI continues to play a role in formulating policy to shape the ongoing developing of TVET at both the national and regional levels. This is the UWI in action, the activist University, shaping new prospects for the betterment of our Caribbean people.  


I have no doubt that this conference will contribute to greater dialogue amongst all stakeholders and extend my best wishes to you all for a successful conference. 



Hilary Beckles 



Message from Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal

UWI, Mona Campus

Professor Archibald McDonald


The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus is pleased to partner with The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, the University of Technology, the Heart Trust /NTA, and international partners including UNESCO, IADB, The British Council and PETROTRIN to host this third International Conference on Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Caribbean.

The Conference’s theme, TVET for Sustainable Regional Development, is in keeping with the UWI, Mona Campus’s mandate to impact communities towards global economic competitiveness, and to lead the Caribbean’s tertiary education sector in re-engineering its academic delivery to foster sustainable national and regional development.  No doubt, the Conference strands, which include: Skills Development for Youth Empowerment, Reorienting TVET to Support Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Diversity in TVET, Integration of TVET in General and Specialised Education, and Public- Private Partnerships for TVET,  will not only showcase the benefits of TVET to workforce development, but will also offer various opportunities for conference attendees from across the region to  examine and investigate the prospects, issues and challenges relating to quality TVET.

I congratulate the planners of this conference for conceptualising and executing this third TVET conference, which is comprehensive in its scope. I am confident that it will realise its objective to advance the efforts to re-engineer our education system with a view to attaining global economic competitiveness for the region.


On behalf of the UWI, Mona Campus, I welcome you all, and extend my very best wishes for a successful conference.




Message from the Dean - Faculty of Humanities and Education, UWI, Mona

Professor Waibinte E. Wariboko 

On behalf of my colleagues in the Faculty of Humanities and Education, I wish to congratulate the School of Education for the leadership role it has been playing in the furtherance of TVET as a multidisciplinary body of scholarship within the academy.  As some of you might know, the first international conference in the Caribbean was successfully initiated and held in 2012 through efforts of the School of Education in collaboration with several local and overseas partners, including most of those supporting the present effort. It is therefore very appropriate and befitting to acknowledge and also salute those agencies and institutions who have found it fit to invest in the growth and development of TVET by supporting the conference efforts of the School under the intellectual oversight of Dr. Halden Morris, the first Professor of TVET in the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. 

Via the scholarly findings of this august gathering of educators and administrators, researchers, undergraduate and graduate students, vested private-sector interests and stakeholders in TVET, officials of multilateral agencies, including the state officials as represented through the Ministries of Education in the Caribbean, I am feeling optimistic that the investments in this enterprise will yield dividends by advancing scholarship and also promoting Caribbean socioeconomic development.  As a multidisciplinary body of knowledge, TVET and its scholars and practitioners generally seek to offer solutions to practical socio-economic problems besetting society. 

It is therefore not surprising that this Conference, among other subthemes, will be seeking to explore the benefits of energy conservation, waste management and reduction, risk management and reduction, and prudent resource management. These subthemes, examined within the context of the political economy of underdevelopment, will almost invariably highlight questions relating to disparities in regional and global wealth creation, cultural diversity and its implications for sustainable economic development, technological innovation as opposed to technology  transfer, indigenous creativity, as well as investment financing and entrepreneurship in the Caribbean region and beyond. 

 Taking the overarching theme, “TVET for Sustainable Regional Development,” together with the aforementioned subthemes, this Conference promises to be very exciting indeed. With the benefits of the successful first conference in 2012 and the efficient capacity of the present organizing committee, I am sure that this year’s Conference will be equally successful by fulfilling the expectations and promises it has generated and advertised on its website. To all participants from near and far, let me close by wishing you all a very hearty welcome to this Conference on TVET in Montego Bay, the ultimate tourism destination of the Caribbean. Please enjoy a robust and productive academic Conference, but also find time to enjoy the social atmosphere that the Mecca of tourism in the Caribbean, Montego Bay, promises before you leave the Island of Jamaica for your respective homes locally and abroad. 

Thank you.


Message from the Director of the School of Education, UWI, Mona 

Professor Stafford A. Griffith

Deputy Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Education

The theme of the Third International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean May 2017- TVET for Sustainable Regional Development demonstrates a need to explore ideas, strategies and best practices for entrenching TVET in discourse, curricula, operations and everyday life. The relevance of TVET to sustainable development in the Caribbean and further afield cannot be overemphasized. This conference seeks to build on the foundations laid by the two previous conferences by deepening discussions on a range of pertinent issues and forging further collaboration and institutionalizing TVET for future generations. 

The dynamic and interconnected nature of the world make it mandatory to position TVET as one of the principal drivers for sustainability, progress, poverty alleviation and improved quality of life. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outline quality education; decent work and economic growth; centrality of industry, innovation and infrastructure as well as the promotion of responsible consumption and production as being pivotal to advancement. TVET is central to the achievement of such targets. The power of TVET to impact sustainable livelihoods is immense. Dialogue and praxis must take account of this tremendous potential and harness it effectively for sustainable development.

The 2017 TVET Conference provides a space for meaningful dialogue on the partnerships and solutions that must be created or strengthened to reduce persistent poverty, crippling inequality and exclusion by maximizing the gains afforded by strides made in TVET. It is our hope that the discussions that will result from this forum will produce significant outcomes that will contribute to regional and global sustainable development that has TVET as a central pillar. The School of Education in the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the Mona Campus, The University of the West Indies, is therefore very pleased to be a partner in this conference. 

Best wishes for a successful conference. 



Message from the Conference Chairman

Halden A. Morris, Ph.D., P.E.

Professor in Career, Technical Vocational Education and Training, UWI 

On behalf of our Partners, Sponsors and Planning Committee, it is indeed a pleasure for me to warmly welcome you to our Third International Conference on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Caribbean. Together we shall explore the theme “TVET for Sustainable Regional Development”.  

In the Caribbean, we have weathered many storms in our TVET journey, but engendered hope when we embarked upon this nature of conferencing. Through the first conference, we challenged Caribbean Islands to formulate policies to drive TVET. We also established UWI-UNESCO Montego Bay declaration on TVET which was used to influence the Shanghai Consensus on TVET in 2012.  The second conference examined the relationship between STEM and TVET and suggested ways to integrate them. That conference provided guidance through a communiqué which was approved by all stakeholders in attendance.  The document constitutes another significant instrument currently being used in the international TVET community. 

This, our third conference on TVET is of major significance, as it will examine the theme “TVET for sustainable regional development”. In so doing, it is highlighting the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are in support of economic development, and will concomitantly pursue the course of public-private partnerships for success in that regard.   

As the University of the West Indies and its partners continue to collaborate on critical issues in TVET, I implore you to embrace mechanisms to facilitate sustainability in the region.  I am confident that this conference will create an advocacy platform for integrating sustainable principles, policies and practices in TVET and that our deliberations will contribute significantly to the collective benefit nationally, regionally and globally. 


Message from UNESCO

Dr. Katherine Grigsby

Director and Representative, UNESCO Cluster Office for The Caribbean 

For the third consecutive of round, UNESCO is pleased to partner with the School of Education of the University of West Indies and other key local and regional partners in co-convening the Third Caribbean TVET Conference.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently adopted by the Member States of the United Nations (UN) in 2015, seek to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, among others.  As the only United Nations’ specialized Agency for education, UNESCO has been entrusted to lead and coordinate efforts at various levels of governance to ensure the effective delivery of the ambitious education SDG4-2030 Education Agenda. Within this broader context where UNESCO’s top priority is to speed up access to quality learning opportunities for all children and youth, affordable quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is considered by UNESCO as central given the ongoing youth demographic bulge and its resulting high youth unemployment situation which is source of multiple frustrations across the world including here among our Caribbean youth who seem sometimes tempted to indulge into crime as easy source for securing a living. This trend must be reversed and we believe TVET can contribute to change the dynamic to a significant extent.  

UNESCO’s efforts in the area of TVET target youth’s acquisition of skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. UNESCO also seeks to create conducive institutional environment in its Member States to help them achieve beyond the SDG 4 on Quality Education, notably to also achieve the SDG 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation and the SDG 8 on Decent work and Economic Growth.

Within the framework of its Special Initiative for the Caribbean (SPIC) and of particular importance to UNESCO in this region, we would like to see TVET institutions addressing youth skills needs that match the demands of economic, social and environmental spheres by promoting youth skills that ensure their equitable and inclusive participation in the sustainable economic growth of the region, and support transitions to green economies and environmental sustainability.

Lastly, UNESCO would like this Third Conference to generate tangible and action-oriented outcomes that will influence in a measurable way policies and practices in the TVET sub-sector for greater benefits to youth’s access to decent work in the Caribbean region.   

I wish you all successful Conference deliberations.


Message from the Petroleum Corporation of Trinidad (PETROTRIN) 

Mr. Neil Derrick

Vice President, Human Resource & Corporate Services

I bring greetings to this conference with the confidence that this collaboration between employers and educators in support of TVET can only be of great benefit to the region.

It is our belief that there are two significant facets to competence, the one being education which is driven by entities such as universities and other such bodies; and the other being field training and exposure that provides the rest of the craft, which comes from the employer body. Both bodies working together will see to the improvement in TVET and ultimately the development of human resources across the Caribbean as well as globally.

PETROTRIN has begun its own work with the National Training Agency of Trinidad and Tobago in designing programmes for further development of employees, and this is for us a heartening situation.

A conference of this nature brings together collective experiences of many delegates over a three-day period, discussing and sharing. This could only be significantly beneficial for the region.

We expect that we shall all learn and also enjoy each other’s company over the period. Thanks for your participation.


Message from HEART Trust/NTA

Wayne Wesley, J.P., Ph.D.

Executive Director, HEART Trust/National Training Agency 

Chair, Caribbean Association of National Training Authorities (CANTA)


The HEART Trust/National Training Agency (NTA), is pleased to partner in the hosting of this Biennial TVET Conference. This partnership reflects the commitment of regional and international stakeholders in advancing Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The theme for the 3rd International Conference ‘TVET for Sustainable Regional Development’ is aligned to the mandate of the HEART Trust/NTA, to train, certify and empower the workforce as a vehicle for social and economic development.

The Trust’s mandate has been further fortified by its merger with the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) and the National Youth Service (NYS), which will see youth empowerment, adult learning, workforce development and lifelong learning opportunities strengthened. It also provides a greater opportunity to re-engage underserved youth through TVET, towards acquiring decent jobs.

TVET is essential in improving the quality employability and productivity of the workforce. It is a critical pillar in labour portability, decent work and poverty reduction. Through TVET vulnerable groups such as persons with special needs and rural youth can acquire the skills needed to break the cycle of being disadvantaged and be integrated into the labour market as skilled and productive citizens. TVET also provides a solid platform on which to promote gender balance as it relates to the inclusion and empowerment of females in all areas of TVET occupations. 

We will look forward to knowledge sharing and generation that will be facilitated throughout this conference and the implementation of recommendations throughout the regional TVET system. 

To all our participants and presenters, I wish for you an inspiring experience. 


Professor Stephen Vasciannie

Message from

Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, CD, 

President, University of Technology, Jamaica


The University of Technology, Jamaica is pleased to be among the partner institutions hosting and making research presentations at the 3rd International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean. 

The conference theme focused on “TVET for Sustainable Regional Development,” is in keeping with the University’s commitment to harness knowledge of TVET to foster innovation, in solving problems and improving the quality of life for humanity.

UTech, Jamaica is serious about TVET education which is well integrated into our academic delivery as a flagship programme of study.   Through the School of Technical and Vocational Education in the Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, the University continues to provide technical educators for our secondary school sector.  This is part of UTech, Jamaica’s record as the only University in the Caribbean which prepares teachers in TVET education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  

The role of TVET in supporting Sustainable Development Goals through, innovation, entrepreneurship, wealth creation and workforce development, is increasingly being globally recognized as an imperative.

This conference will indeed go a far way in strengthening the platform for integrating sustainable TVET education at all levels of the educational sector and in influencing TVET best practices and policies for regional development.


My very best wishes for a successful conference. 


Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, CD



Message from the Program Chairman

Dr. Carole Powell
Education Consultant and Adjunct Lecturer UWI, Mona

Allow me to add my special welcome to all colleagues: delegates, exhibitors, guests, workers and friends. Your presence at this the 3rd International Conference speaks volumes on behalf of TVET and the attendant indices of sustainable development, worldwide.

As Programme Chairman, I pursue a course of action that places me at your disposal as far as facilitation of intra-conference ingress and egress, as well as other logistical aspects are concerned. Feel free to contact me or any of the marked ushers should the need arise for further direction. I advise that you thoroughly acquaint yourselves with the programme and the rest of material in your Conference Kit. By pre-selecting preferred presentations, you will avoid loss of valuable time and will be better able to maximize the benefits of the conference to you and to your country. It is advisable that you attend all plenary sessions, and make sure that you are in attendance at the closing plenary on Friday afternoon, when we shall together arrive at another historic Conference Communiqué, that will guide the action in advancing sustainable TVET towards regional development.

I entreat you to network well, learn more and enjoy the ambiance as provided by the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa.

Thanks again for making Conference 2017!