THE National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) has lauded the contributions of its stakeholder partners which have enabled the agency to fulfil its mandate as the quality assurance arm of the HEART Trust/National Training Agency (HEART/NTA).
The council recently honoured about 100 key stakeholders which have partnered with the institution over the years.
This recognition was accorded at a special awards ceremony, held at the Mona Visitor’ Lodge at University of the West Indies (UWI) in St Andrew, under the theme ‘Honouring the Past, Launching the Future’, which commemorated the agency’s 21st anniversary.
The honourees, inclusive of tertiary, secondary, and vocational institutions, were presented with commemorative plaques and citations, among other awards.
Notable among these was the International University of the Caribbean (IUC), which achieved a student certification rate of over 95 per cent during 2015 to emerge the top institution for the year. Central High School in Clarendon copped second place, having attained a 91 per cent certification rate, while St Mary Technical High School in St Mary, and Frome Technical High School in Westmoreland tied for third with 90 per cent.
The four were also among 19 institutions awarded for notable performances in the June 2015 examinations, with students averaging between 70 and 100 per cent.
Meanwhile, Bog Walk High School in St Catherine and St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) in Kingston emerged as the institutions offering the most TVET programmes in the 2015 NCTVET examinations. Bog Walk High, with 11 programmes, edged STATHS for the top position.
The programmes offered at Bog Walk include data operations, crop production; carpentry; commercial food preparation, housekeeping, cosmetology, welding, electrical installation, general office administration, motor vehicle repairs, and fashion designing.
Those offered at STATHS are plumbing, crop production, data operations, electrical installation, welding, metal work engineering;, furniture making, motor vehicle repairs, cosmetology, and barbering.
Awards were also presented to 47 institutions, which were recognised for being longstanding NCTVET clients; 26 educators who served as evaluators/auditors, item writers/assessors/markers, and lead group members in the administration of the various programmes.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, NCTVET’s senior director, Jennifer Walker, said the institution’s accomplishments would not have been possible without “the guidance and inputs of many experts from the various sectors”.
Walker said their efforts contributed significantly to increasing the number of institutions accessing the National and Caribbean Vocational Qualifications.
Council member of NCTVET, Maxine Henry Wilson — who represented Chairman Norman Davis — commended the agency on the “sterling reputation they have attained”, pointing out that “they are the envy of many… locally, regionally and globally”.
Henry Wilson said NCTVET has demonstrated “absolute maturity” by virtue of their achievements and the manner in which these have been recorded.
“To those who have been involved in the delivery of services to the clients, we applaud and thank you for attaining and maintaining the highest standards consistent with the tradition and requirements of NCTVET,” she added.
For his part, HEART Trust Executive Director Dr Wayne Wesley emphasised that NCTVET’s activities are “critical” to his agency’s mission and strategic thrust, particularly in ensuring that “the… (workforce) certification we give, as an organisation, is recognised both locally and internationally”.
“The 21st century requires a workforce that will add competitiveness to the Jamaican economy, and increase our productivity,” he noted.
Guest speaker, principal of Moneague Teachers’ College in St Ann, Howard Isaacs, encouraged the management, staff and stakeholder partners to celebrate and consolidate the agency’s achievements, pointing out that “you have impacted the society”.
“You have done a great job and we are proud of you. Clearly, you have the necessary skills, you have the leaders, and you have the resources [to empower you to achieve even more]. If you continue to believe in the vision that was established… you will [attain greater achievements],” he added.
The NCTVET, which was formed in 1994, has overall responsibility for developing competency standards, and assessment and qualification guidelines; certifying assessors; accrediting organisations; and issuing the National Vocational Qualifications of Jamaica (NVQJ) certification to those participating in programmes offered in partnership with HEART, who demonstrate the requisite competencies in various occupational areas.
Its achievements include: approving more than 600 standards in over 200 skills across 48 sectors; awarding over 260,000 certificates of competence; accrediting programmes in 46 training institutions; and granting centre of approval status for more than 142 institutions.
In 1995, one year after its operations commenced, NCTVET awarded its first NVQJ certification, and by 1999 the agency’s Early Childhood Care and Development Standards were accorded global recognition by the United Nations Children’s Fund.
By 2002, NCTVET expanded the issuance of vocational qualification certification across the region, with residents of Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines being the first recipients of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification.
One year later, standards which the agency developed were endorsed and adopted by territories across the Caribbean.
In recognition of its work, NCTVET was bestowed with the Jamaica Employers’ Federation Public Sector Leadership Award in 2001; and the Bureau of Standards Jamaica National Quality Award for Excellence in service in 2009, 2011 and 2012.