Prof. Halden Morris
Founder of the International Conferences on TVET in the Caribbean, for the 6th staging during
May 16 – 19, 2023
A very warm welcome to you to our 6th International Conference on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the Caribbean. In this our 13th year of existence, it is indeed refreshing to experience the strong energies driving this biennial conference.
This conference would not be successful without the support of stakeholders and more specifically our partners and sponsors who have come on board to make this event a successful and memorable one. Special thanks to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture, Jamaica; The University of the West Indies; The University of Technology, Jamaica; HEART NSTA Trust; UNESCO; ILO; The Vocational Training Development Institute; Educate St Lucia; CETL and others who have partnered on this occasion to deliver this year’s conference.
It has been well established that the economic and social health of a nation is “inextricably linked to the quality if its TVET systems and the quality of its workforce” (Morris, 2023). UNESCO-UNEVOC (2023) argues that TVET refers to "deliberate interventions to bring about learning which would make people more productive (or simply adequately productive) in designated areas of economic activity.” It is therefore necessary for nations to pay close attention to their TVET systems.
It must be further emphasised that TVET plays a critical role in supporting green growth and sustainable development due to its direct links to the labour market. It contributes to training all workers in specific sectors of an economy. In doing so, it has a role to play in supplying the knowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes required to promote resource efficiency, reduce waste and advance more environmentally conscious practices in numerous occupational fields. It also plays a major role in the development of skills for the renewable energy sectors (UNESCO-UNEVOC, 2023).
The previous five (5) conferences held in 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021 achieved significant outcomes such as: the formulation of policies to drive TVET; the establishment of the UWI-UNESCO Montego Bay declaration on TVET which influenced development of the Shanghai Consensus on TVET in 2012; guidance by way of a communique on the relationship between STEM and TVET, suggested ways for integration; and again by way of a communique, advice on the value of TVET for sustainable regional development. The 4th conference interrogated TVET principles, strategies and work practices and provided information for the TVET sector by way of a communique to stakeholders. The 5th Conference was unique in that it was delivered virtually in the midst of a pandemic. It provided opportunities for stakeholders to interact from the comfort of their homes and at the same time maximize our participation in the various segments of the conference. The theme “TVET – Creating Opportunities in a Global Pandemic” provided many opportunities for TVET practitioners to engage in the creation of new approaches for training and work practices. The pandemic highlighted the urgency for TVET to address myriad emerging jobs that require creative workforce preparation.
This 6th conference is also unique since it is being delivered at the end of a pandemic and it is being offered in a hybrid format. The theme “TVET: Building Resilience for Sustainable Development in Disruptive Times” promises to engage participants in a discourse that will enable them to make declarations regarding training in this “new norm” and make recommendations to facilitate training in the future.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the School of Education, UWI, Mona as coordinator of the Conference Planning Committee, to make this conference a reality. I hope that you will interact, learn, enjoy and benefit immensely from this our 6th International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean.
Professor Disraeli M. Hutton
The 6th Biennial Conference of the Caribbean TVET is at a crossroads, and it will take new thinking and much creativity and imagination to take us through to the next 6 conferences. Let me elaborate.
First, we have to examine TVET against the more up-to-date skills development approach which has been popularized by a number of European countries. Skills development is not limited to the traditionally selected TVET training programmes offered by educational institutions and the workplace. Instead, skills development is a more expansive concept to include the enhancement of the productive capacity of a country using formal, informal, and workplace training means in all areas of work life to meet the expected economic needs of one’s country. This strongly suggests that the discrete TVET subject areas which continue to represent the current approach to training must be revamped and make training more align with the actual workplace practice. The leadership of TVET in the region must start to examine skills development and seek to make the transition with urgency.
Second, the emergence of STEM has provided an opportunity for the integration of STEM and TVET which was addressed by the 2th Biennial Conference of the Caribbean. With TVET being workplace focused, practical, and hands-on orientated, it becomes the natural ‘ally’ for STEM to be implemented with a greater emphasis on the practice of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In fact, TVET and STEM would prosper together in an atmosphere where the advantages of both would provide the skills to modernize our economies. This is a sure option to develop a more robust economy which is a requirement for advancing the income-earning activities of the region and ultimately the quality of life of its people.
Finally, every effort must be made to maintain the regional approach to the TVET conference, with an international flavour. Indeed, the creation of the TVET conference logo is a part of that inspiration. And even though CARICOM has not realized the level of economic integration which many had hoped for, the TVET conference represents an opportunity ‘to keep hope alive’. Therefore, it’s the responsibility of conference planners to involve regional institutions and organizations including educational institutions, central ministries, and businesses. We have failed to advance this goal sufficiently over the past three conferences. As of now, a concerted effort must be made to implement these adjustments in a timely manner, especially for those who see the virtue of a Caribbean family. This commitment could be demonstrated by the owners of the conference making a concerted effort to have the 7th biennial conference in one of the sister islands.
Dr. Carole M. Powell
Conference Coordinator & Programme Chair
Education Consultant and Adjunct Lecturer UWI, Mona
Conference Partners and Delegates, Special Guests & Speakers, Sponsors, Presenters, Exhibitors and all other participants at the 6th International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean, welcome to Kingston on the Waterfront.
As Coordinator and Programme Chair, I entreat you to make every effort and maximize the four-days sojourn in conferencing. This encounter will not only serve to enhance the cause for TVET, but also endow you with tremendous knowledge steeped in pragmatism, as we navigate the billows of troubling waters through the 21st century and beyond.
While I make myself available, along with the Logistics Officers and Technical Moderators, it is advisable that you become familiar with the Programme Schedule in your conference kit or on the website.Therein, we have provided great detail so you may select or preselect according to your greatest interest The Closing Ceremony on Friday 19th is a must, for all to participate in crafting the Conference Communiqué 2023. This output will guide the action for TVET during these disruptive times.
Finally, savour the camaraderie gained from networking, and contemplate the trysts of Old Port Royal while viewing the shores of the Caribbean Sea from look-out point at the Harbour Lounge.
Debra Ferdinand-James, PhD
Senior Lecturer and Coordinator, MA LTVET/WFD Programme
School of Education, UWI, Mona Campus
I extend a warm Caribbean welcome to all conference delegates joining us for the 6th International Conference on TVET in the Caribbean. The disruption fuelled by Industry 4.0/5.0 and global emergencies like COVID-19 has resulted in the digital transformation characterizing the global education eco-system. This forced shift brought a transition from the traditional F2F delivery to a digitally-enabled one in TVET. As such, distinguishing features of this year’s conference is the inclusion of a TVET Blended Challenge as well as several inception workshops that include cloud computing, assistive technology, flexible/blended learning, EXON-Extended Reality, and artificial intelligence for advancing TVET praxis in this era of digital transformation. You can look forward to inspiring speakers and presenters from across the globe, who are at the forefront of the trends and issues in TVET and workforce development.
It is my honour to Chair this year’s conference, and I extend sincere thanks to my conference planning committee and our treasured partners, sponsors, and special contributors in making this year’s conference a reality. May God continue to bless us all for an enjoyable and successful conference.
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