Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley has encouraged graduates of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) programme to start their own businesses with the skills they have acquired.
In his address to the graduates of the second and third cohort of students from the Virgin Islands
School of Technical Studies (VISTS), Honourable Wheatley said technical vocational studies is at the forefront of the future of the Territory’s economy.
“In the past, it would be common place for persons such as yourselves just to go to the Government and say ‘I want a job’ and sometimes persons got jobs regardless of qualifications. That is not the situation today. The Premier and Minister of Finance is telling you that we cannot employ more persons at this time. That’s why I am here to encourage the young people to start thinking about opening their own businesses.”
Principal, Mr. Andrew Francis told the students that the stigma of technical vocational studies should have no merit today and that they are the change makers that will be going into the work force because they will be competent to do so.
“This certificate states that you qualified, you are competent and you will be able to fit right into the world of work,” he said, adding, “It is a global certificate, so once you leave the shores of the BVI you will be able to present this certificate to say that I am competent as an Automotive Technician, I am competent as a Cosmetologist, I am competent as a Commercial Food Chef or Bartender.”
Mr. Francis said students have moved on from the institution into tertiary institutions in the United States because of the foundation they received from the school. “No matter where you go, Technical Vocational Studies is the drive of the economic growth,” he said.
The Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) is administered by the Caribbean Examination Council and the Virgin Islands
School of Technical Studies (VISTS) is the only school in the Territory who offer the certificate.
Mr. Francis said the certificate represents the achievement of a set of competences that define the core work practices of an occupational area consistent with the levels articulated within the regional qualifications framework. These competencies for the graduating class include motor vehicle repairs, bartending, food and beverage, commercial food preparation and cosmetology.
Student respondent and past graduate, Noah Spencer said that the CVQ, as well as the institution, played a great role in making him the man he is today.
“Attaining this certificate was not easy but this school has molded me and has set me forth in the path to become great. I want to encourage you students to become what you want to be and be the best you can be. Even if all you can do is tighten a log, you have a certificate that says you are the man to tighten the log. Show off your certificate to say I am the one for this.”