The Honourable Fayval Williams, MP

Minister of Education and Youth, —Jamaica

A warm Jamaican welcome to all delegates and participants of the 6th International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean. This conference is critical to advancing TVET education in the region, enhancing skills & employability, and driving economic growth.
In today’s rapidly changing global landscape, it is crucial that we equip our workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to adapt to emerging industries and technologies. TVET plays a critical role in achieving this goal, as it provides learners with the practical skills and competencies required to meet the demands of the job market.

Moreover, TVET not only helps individuals acquire relevant technical skills but also develops their soft skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork. These skills are essential for personal and professional development, making TVET a valuable investment for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to our economies and societies, highlighting the need for reskilling and upskilling programs to support affected workers and sectors. TVET can help bridge the skills gap and prepare individuals for the changing job market, enabling them to secure sustainable employment and contribute to economic growth.

In the Caribbean region, TVET has proven to be a powerful tool for reducing poverty, promoting social inclusion, and strengthening regional competitiveness. It has contributed to the growth of the tourism industry, the development of renewable energy sources, and the expansion of agribusiness. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure equitable access to quality TVET programmes for all learners, including those in marginalized and disadvantaged communities.

Therefore, it is essential that we continue to invest in TVET, promote its integration into national education and training systems, and foster partnerships between education providers, employers, and industry stakeholders. By doing so, we can create a skilled workforce that is resilient, innovative, and capable of driving sustainable development in the Caribbean and beyond.

In conclusion, I would like to congratulate the organizers of the 6th International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean for their commitment to promoting TVET and creating a platform for sharing best practices and experiences. I wish you all a productive and successful conference and look forward to the outcomes and recommendations that will emerge from this important event.

The Honourable Shawn A. Edward

Minister of Education, Sustainable Development,
Innovation Science, Technology and Vocational Training —SAINT LUCIA

Greetings from the Ministry of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, Science, Technology and Vocational Training in Saint Lucia. I am thankful for this opportunity to present to a broader stakeholder group my ministry’s views on Technical Vocational Education and Training, especially in the context of building workforce resilience and sustainability in disruptive times.

As small island states, with limited resources, both human and natural, we must develop strategies that will safeguard us against globally disruptive factors. We must invest in undertakings that will ensure our sustainability in trying economic times. Knowing this and given the experiences of the corona virus and the Russia- Ukrain war, we must pay closer attention to skills training as a response to these disruptions.

For too long we have bastardized TVET as education for the non-academic. As a region, it is time we actively move towards debunking this fallacy, as we know, it takes a brilliant mind to navigate technical and vocation education.

On the eve of this, the 6th International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean, I encourage all policy makers, to move past the TVET conversation and engage in TVET action. Action geared towards promoting TVET and skills development as a strategy for workforce development, which will result in improved economic growth and development figures, while at the same time enhancing sustainability and resilience.

Our takeaway from this conference should be a harmonized action plan, which may differ based on context, but one which speaks to recognizing TVET as a vehicle for building resilience and sustainable development in the region. Let us create the enabling environment, be it through education reforms, industry linkages, etcetera, that will allow for the development of skills, thereby placing less reliance on external countries for our welfare.

Technical Vocational Education and Training has the potential to move our region from being categorized as less developed and more as developing. The investment in TVET should start now, in order to reap the rewards within the decade

Professor Dale Webber

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of
The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston Jamaica

The University of the West Indies is pleased to participate in the 6th International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean. The conference theme, “TVET: Building Resilience for Sustainable Development in Disruptive Times”, comes at a relevant time when we are evolving out of the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted our lives in many ways and adversely affected the education sector. The lessons learned are numerous, revealing that we need to have more sustainable structures in many areas of our societies. One of the key learning is that we need to develop and strengthen our systems to be more resilient and proactively prepare for the potential of future adversities.

Technical and Vocational Education & Training (TVET), is the gateway that connects theory with practice. As we strategize how to tackle its development and delivery in disruptive times, there is a need for TVET to become more institutionalized and widely available. The way for us as a University to accomplish this is through facilitating more exposure, partnerships, and opportunities. We need to develop sustainable principles in our regional policies, practices, and programme delivery to ensure that we prepare our citizens for the world of work regardless of unpredicted and rising challenges.

The reality is that we have transitioned to the “new-normal” with education in a blended modality, this has increased the need for us to be more creative in the delivery of both theory and practice to our stakeholders.

This conference is an opportunity for us to assess where we are and determine the direction we are heading, in light of the changes precipitated by the advent of the pandemic. We must increase our training capacity to meet the rapidly expanding need for a technically skilled workforce in our contemporary sectors & societies. If every student could receive an internship or engagement with a real-life opportunity, this would be of great benefit. This is what TVET offers, as it is technical and vocational that goes along with academia. Let those partnerships begin here.

I wish you the very best for the conference proceedings as the ideas are shared, partnerships are developed and the roadmap to transform and create a sustainable and resilient system is actualized. I also strongly encourage and support the need for an increase of research in TVET, as we prepare and transition into Industry 4.0 and 5.0.

Dr. Marcia Rainford

Director, School of Education of The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston Jamaica

Dr Marcia Rainford has been serving as the Director of the School of Education since 2019 and is Senior Lecturer in Science Education at The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. She is a pragmatic, dedicated and caring science teacher-educator with a passion for teaching and an avid advocate for student-centred instruction. Her career spans forty years in the field of education and she holds a PhD in Science Education from the University of the West Indies.

Her research publications have been concentrated in the areas of teaching, learning and assessment in science and in teacher professional development. She has sought to enhance teaching through assessment for learning (AFL) strategies and continuous and collaborative professional development of teachers. Her contribution in these areas is from a Caribbean perspective showcasing evidence from the field of practice at the secondary level. She has also attempted to provide guidance for Caribbean teachers on how implementation of the school-based assessment fits the AFL framework and its suitability for improving learning. Her work has also provided examples of the use of participatory action research in teacher professional development thereby adding to the number of such studies in Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Dr. Taneisha Ingleton

Managing Director of the HEART/NSTA TRUST, Jamaica

Dr. Taneisha Ingleton is the Managing Director of the HEART/NSTA TRUST, Jamaica’s leading human capital development agency. Prior to this appointment Dr. Ingleton served as Vice-President of Administration and University Registrar at the Caribbean Maritime University.

In this capacity, Ingleton had responsibilities for Human Resource, Student Administration/Services, Legal Services, Marketing and Communications, Security, General Services and the Secretariat. She served as the Chief Operations Officer of the University and was in charge of all university functions. Prior to her appointment at the Caribbean Maritime University, Ingleton served for seven (7) years at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. For four (4) of those years, she served as Director/Principal for the National College for Educational Leadership and as its Director of Programmes for three (3) years.

Dr. Rawatee Maharaj-Sharma

Director, School of Education of The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine,Trinidad and Tobago

A pleasant good morning to everyone joining us today for this the 6th International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean. This morning, I bring greetings on behalf of the St. Augustine Campus of The University of the West Indies and more specifically on behalf of the School of Education at the Faculty of Humanities & Education.

We at the School of Education have recognized the importance of workforce training &
development in the context of creating a responsive and skills-based workforce with the full
suite of knowledge & competencies for the evolving 21st century workforce. Against that
premise, we have reflected on our offerings and have taken steps to align our tertiary level
training with UNESCO’s 2016 -2021 Strategy for TVET and with Goal 4 of the ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We have also embraced the noble intent of The Education 2030 Framework for Action to
strengthen Technical & Vocational Education & Training systems in member states, to
advance youth employment and to facilitate access to decent work, entrepreneurship &
lifelong learning opportunities. In that regard, we have incorporated this intent into our TVET offerings at the St Augustine campus.

For the past 10 years, the School of Education has been engaged in Technical, Vocational
Education & Training through our approved & accredited MA TVET and Workforce
Development programme. Courses in this programme were designed to target the 3 priority areas of the TVET 2016-2021 Strategy:
• Fostering youth employment & entrepreneurship
• Promoting equity & gender equality
• Facilitating the transition to green economies & sustainable societies.

We engage in continuous review and revision of the programme to ensure that our courses
facilitate the development of life & work skills for decent work & livelihoods and to equip
learners with the range of knowledge, competencies & attitudes to mobilize independently,
efficiently & ethically, to solve problems from a sustainable development & global citizenship perspective.

The global pandemic has shown that sustainable development & global citizenship are key
navigators when immediate & responsive action is required. In large part, we have overcome
the debility of the pandemic through our combined creativity and resilience. This conference’s
theme – Building Resilience for Sustainable Development in Disruptive Times is a most
suitable one and presents an opportunity for experts to share pedagogies, practices & stories
through which they navigated the disruptive times presented by the global pandemic. These
sessions will no doubt broaden our experiences and add to our repertoire for present & future
action & response.

I thank the organizers of the conference for the opportunity to bring greetings on behalf of
the St. Augustine Campus of The UWI and wish everyone a very successful conference.

Dr. Anna Paolini

Representative in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada,
Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Director of the UNESCO Oce in Jamaica

Previously, Dr Anna Paolini was UNESCO Representative in the Arab States of the Gulf and Yemen and Director UNESCO Doha Office for the Countries of the Gulf and Yemen from September 2013 to June 2022. She was also UNESCO Representative and Head of Office in Uzbekistan from 2007 to 2009 and later she covered the same position in Jordan. In 1992, she joined UNESCO as specialist in the field of culture at the Regional Office in Amman. In 1997, she moved to UNESCO HQ covering several positions within the Culture Sector including being responsible for movable heritage activities and on heritage in conflict response in the Arab region.

Prior to that, she held a research associate role at the Institute of Architecture of Venice, worked in restoration in Italy and carried out research in the field of urban rehabilitation in several Arab and African countries. She holds a Master’s degree in Architecture and a Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning for Developing Countries, a post-graduate degree on Development Cooperation, as well as a Ph.D in Urban and Territorial Engineering. Dr. Paolini is a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Italian Association of Professional Architects and author of several papers on different cultural heritage subjects

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