Fifty two constituents of West End and Bimini are now being trained in the fundamentals of construction by the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).
The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) training is in conjunction with Valencia College. The virtual training is in modules; therefore participants can build on their knowledge and skills at each level.
Member of Parliament for West End and Bimini, Pakeisha Parker-Edgecombe, took her team into the constituency to ensure that people registered. Her office also paid the registration fee for each participant and provided laptops where necessary.
Ms. Parker-Edgecombe noted the importance of certification in empowering individuals.
“This training is keeping with the government’s mandate that technical, vocational education and training becomes a focal point within communities. Certification will elevate you,” said Ms. Parker-Edgecombe.
“I am very proud because I see the fruition of team work between BTVI, Valencia College and the constituency office of West End and Bimini. Students of this program will be a part of programs which will empower them, their families and ultimately the country,” she added.
Ms. Parker-Edgecombe made an appeal for the participants to not drop out of the course, but remain steadfast as it is an opportunity to gain skills.
Upon successful completion of the core program, students will receive an NCCER wallet card and a certificate. The NCCER’s core curriculum is a pre-requisite for all NCCER training.
BTVI’s Dean of Construction Trades and Workforce Development, Alexander Darville, noted that the skills gap in the country is wide; hence, the importance of the NCCER program’s accelerated training.
“The support from government is there. The government is pouring dollars and cents into these certifications. This new, virtual approach is different, but technology is the way to go. The good thing about this certification is it is globally-recognized,” said Mr. Darville.
Credentials are tracked in NCCER's national registry. The globally recognized and portable credentialing system allows organizations and companies to track qualifications of their craft professionals, which are stored in a secure database; qualifications of possible new hires can also be verified.
BTVI’s Chairman, Kevin Basden, expressed a desire for the participants to go beyond the NCCER’s core program.
“It is a journey we hope you will continue, such that you would become a specialist in your selected field or training. You are definitely being trained at industry standards and it is a pleasure for BTVI, along with your member of parliament, Ms. Edgecombe, to provide you with this opportunity to learn a skill and receive qualifications which make you more marketable,” said Mr. Basden.
“I believe you are now being positioned to help bridge the skills gap in the country. I therefore want all 52 of you to take full advantage of this course not only because we want you to be successful, but because you and your technical skills are needed in our country,” he added.
President of BTVI, Dr. Robert W Robertson noted after the orientation that the intention is to focus on short industry certified courses in construction and technology over the next few months; these courses will soon be identified on the BTVI website.“The courses will be available to individuals who are looking to improve their skills in preparation for the post- COVID-19 economy,” said Dr. Robertson.
BTVI’s intention is to roll out NCCER training to other areas of the country this year. In late 2020, 30 students of Moore’s Island became recipients of accelerated training towards NCCER certification.