(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
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
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
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
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.