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Date: 09 Jan, 2015
Source: Barbados Government Information Service

Barbados will soon have the requisite, trained human resources to work within its renewable energy sector.

This comes in the form of the first ever training course in photovoltaic installations on the island, which begins this month at one of Barbados’ tertiary level institutions, the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic (SJPP).

Considered the premier trainer in technical and vocational education and training (TVET), the SJPP will have the distinction of launching the programme, Photovoltaic Installations 1, on Tuesday, January 20.

In explaining the rationale behind its start-up, SJPP’s Curriculum Development Industrial Liaison Officer (Ag.) Audrey Jones-Drayton, said: “Last year, the Polytechnic undertook a Labour Market Survey in collaboration with Sault (pronounced ‘su’) College in Sainte Marie, Ontario, Canada. We wanted to project the occupational demands over the next few years and ensure our curriculum remained relevant to market demand. The survey indicated that approximately 200 persons need to be trained in renewable energy-related areas. So, with this course, what we are really launching is renewable energy education in Barbados. And, we are expecting there will be great interest in it and a high level of participation.”

Noting that in 2014 the SJPP had, under the Caribbean Education for Employment (C-EFE) progamme, partnered with Sault College, Canada’s most highly recognised training institution in the field of renewable energy, Ms. Jones-Drayton indicated: “Through this partnership, the Polytechnic will strengthen the capacity of its staff to manage and deliver demand-driven, learner-centred, competency-based education towards the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) in renewable energy, among other outcomes.”

This partnership is further strengthened by support from the Technical Vocational and Educational Training (TVET) Council, as well as the SJPP Advisory Committee for Renewable Energy, comprising educators and leading entrepreneurs and manufacturers within the industry.

Photovoltaic Installations 1 is a 45-hour two-credit course and sessions will be conducted on weekdays and on Saturday mornings and evenings. It targets participants with either one year in the solar photovoltaic industry and/or a Certificate or Diploma in Electrical Installation, or its equivalent. The initial course is expected to have an intake of 15 students. The courses will be conducted thereafter on demand and as applicants register.

Upon successful completion of the course, graduates will receive the SJPP Unit Certificate in Photovoltaic Installations 1, as well as have the opportunity to pursue the National Vocational Qualification in selected units for Roofer – Fitter Level 2, once the relevant criteria are met.