Since the introduction of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in 2007, St. Lucia has made some progress with certifying and offering the CVQ to locals.
To date, in excess of 400 CVQs have been issued to various categories of skilled workers here. However, permission to certify and offer the CVQ was only granted to St. Lucia in May 2013.
Head of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Estellita Rane told St Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview today (June 27) that the CVQ covers four main sectors in St Lucia: hospitality, agriculture, ICT and construction.
Asked about the response, Rane said it has been good, but admitted that a lot more marketing is required.
“We have started marketing. We speak of it everywhere we go, but there is still a need to have a proper marketing campaign going,” the TVET head explained.
She said the Ministry of Education, through her department, is working closely with the National Skills Development Centre (NSDC) to deliver CVQs.
“At this present time, we are just working to see what we can put in terms of institutionalising our schools,” she explained.
She noted that there has not been any move by TVET to have the CVQ instituted by private educational providers. However, discussions in this regard could be initiated soon.
When questioned as to the employment opportunities created locally under the CVQ, the TVET head told SNO: “We have not really had an audience with employers, besides those who are participating with us.”
She reminded that the CVQ also allows one to work in the CARICOM region as it falls directly under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME).
In terms of the human resource capacity to deliver the CVQ, Rane told SNO that there is a good compliment of tutors that are available to deliver the CVQ curriculum. However, she said, “It is an industry-based qualification, so if you are going to train in terms of industry standards, then your facility for training must be at that level. That is our only challenge.”
Having proper facilities and equipment will ensure adequate industry standards to deliver the CVQ.
The holder of a CVQ certificate can obtain employment anywhere in the region and the certificate is recognised internationally.
Persons who are not certified and who are desirous of travelling overseas to gain employment, irrespective of where they gained their experience and knowledge of their occupation, can be assessed and certified with a CVQ certificate.
The value of the certificate is extremely important to persons who are hoping to pursue vocational studies and those who are already in the industry and are seeking to practise their trade overseas.
Currently, CVQs are planned to reflect a qualification framework of five levels, ranging from entry–level worker to managerial and/or professional worker.