Press release 258/2007
(23 October 2007)


(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Georgetown, Guyana) The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat and other regional educational Institutions joined with the National Training Agency of Jamaica, the HEART Trust/NTA to launch the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) on Friday, 19 October at a ceremony held at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.

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.

Speaking at the Launch on Tuesday, Ms. Mryna Bernard, Director of Human Development in the Secretariat gave an overview of the development of the CVQ and the role played by the Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD) in establishing the Common Standards and Framework.

In noting the significance of the CVQ, Ms. Bernard stated that in order to position the Region for competitive participation in the global economy, emphasis was placed on developing quality human resources and in particular on the reorganization of technical and vocational training and education (TVET) to provide the requisite skill development that would satisfy workplace demands.

Ms. Bernard added that the operation of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) demanded a common system and understanding across the Region, of quality assurance issues at all levels of Education and Training, and portable qualifications especially in TVET.

“The fact that we can now move from National Vocational Qualifications to a regional Vocational Qualification is testimony to the political will and hard work invested in the process by our Member States,” she told her audience.

The Human Development Director said, “the CVQ has the potential to ensure that the CSME has available to it a regional pool of certified skilled persons and to touch lives as it puts the benefits of the CSME within reach of many given its availability to skilled, yet uncertified persons in workplaces, students in secondary schools, through arrangements with CXC, and persons in training institutions.”

“The Region looks forward to reaping these benefits,” she concluded.

In delivering the keynote address, former Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA Mr. Robert Gregory described the occasion as “CVQ Day” and opined that the Caribbean has a critical tool that would help to ensure that the dream for Caribbean integration and free movement of labour throughout the territories could be facilitated.

He said, the CVQ allowed for the Caribbean to “eliminate the mismatch between the global labour market’s requirement and specifications and the Region’s ability to supply a highly competent and confident workforce.”

Mr. Gregory, who is now the President of the Jamaica Trade and Invest, said, the CVQ presented a challenge to change the paradigm to align the activities and output of the education system with real opportunities for life and livelihood in the CSME and to match profile of the Ideal Caribbean Citizen Worker.

He commended the CARICOM Secretariat for what he described as “seminal achievement” for the Caribbean, and urged Caribbean leaders to ensure that the CVQ remains dynamic, responsive to change, and flexible, through consistent research and innovation.

Mr. Donald Foster, Executive Director of HEART/NTA proffered greetings, while Mr. Trevor King Chairman of CANTA and Mr. Glenroy Cumberbatch Pro Registrar, CXC also commended the CARICOM Secretariat and the HEART Trust /NTA for making the CVQ a reality.

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 COHSOD.

Approximately ten persons were presented with their first CVQ certificate at the launch.


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