Dutch Caribbean delegation visits vocational education Barbados and Trinidad

A delegation of seven people from the Caribbean Netherlands recently visited vocational training institutions in Barbados and Trinidad. The school visits were meant to see how the vocational program Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) developed by the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) works in practice. In addition, the delegation members have oriented on possibilities for vocational education offerings for St. Eustatius and Saba.

The delegation consisted of two policy employees of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science from the European Netherlands, three representatives of the Council for Education and Labour Market (ROA), one policy advisor for OCW and the transition coordinator, who is in charge of guiding the transition to English as the main language of instruction at St. Eustatius. As of school year 2018 – 2019 onwards, students on the Windward Islands in the Caribbean Netherlands will be taking their exams according to the English CVQ. The delegation members, who all are involved in developing policies regarding the implementation of the vocational education program in the Caribbean Netherlands, were able to inform themselves about the various aspects of the program. The school visits gave a good impression of how business and educational institutes can come to clearly defined educational programs with labour market prospects for participants by putting in a mutual effort. The delegation also visited the headquarters of the CXC and in Trinidad they visited the National Training Agency (NTA) to gather information about exams and training for the teaching staff.

The Caribbean region annually receives more than 1,200 students who are granted a “full level 1 certification” of CXC for a profession, ranging from commercial food preparation to data operations to electrical installations to metal work, welding and car mechanics to general cosmetics.