Caribbean Vocational Qualification to be Launched in Jamaica

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(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Georgetown, Guyana) Arrangements for the issue of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) have been streamlined and the first launch by a National Training Agency is expected to take place in Jamaica by the HEART Trust /NTA on Friday, 19 October at 10:00 am at the Terra Nova Hotel.

The CVQ will facilitate the movement of artisans and other skilled persons in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). This qualification will be accessible to persons already in the workforce as well as students in secondary schools across the Caribbean Region. Those already in the work force will be required to attend designated centres for assessment.

The Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies (CANTA) has been streamlining arrangements for the issue of the CVQ in post-secondary institutions and workplaces over the past year. In addition, arrangements have been put in place with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) for the award of the CVQ to students in secondary schools, as mandated by the Fifteenth Meeting of the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD-XV)

Speaking at the Sixteenth Meeting of the COHSOD held in Georgetown, Guyana on 10 -12 October 2007, CARICOM Secretary-General, H.E. Edwin W. Carrington said, “this development will facilitate the movement of a large number of wage earners in the CSME and is one which our Heads of Government have eagerly awaited.”

In explaining the rationale for the introduction of the CVQ, Ms. Myrna Bernard, Director of Human and Social Development in the CARICOM Secretariat said, “One of the main pillars of the CSME is the free movement of skilled persons throughout the Region.”

She explained that, “the issues of skill development through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the portability of qualifications, have assumed renewed importance in positioning the Region for competitive participation in the New Economy.”

“It is recognised that in order to achieve this, there must be a common system and understanding of quality assurance issues at all levels of Education and Training, including TVET,” Ms. Bernard clarified further.

Ms. Bernard added that “the institutionalisation of a regional system of Vocational Qualifications is a crucial element in facilitating the free movement of workers while also contributing to the enhancement of skills training in both institutional as well as on-the job settings.”

In response to a mandate from COHSOD XI in October 2004, CANTA reached an agreement on, and documented a Regional Process for Workforce Training, Assessment and Certification leading to the award of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ). The Report was presented to COHSOD XV in October 2006.