These are the words of Minister of Education, Nigel Carty who at the time was speaking at the Advanced Vocational Educational Centre’s (AVEC) graduation ceremony held on Wednesday 24th November 2010.
In highlighting the ceremony’s theme, “Going confidently towards the direction of our dreams”, Minister Carty noted that the AVEC’s role is of importance if persons who are interested in receiving vocational training are to be adequately prepared to accomplish their goals.
“The role of the AVEC must by design be proactive in identifying the needs of our society relative to training. It ought also to be responsive to regional and global market trends. The institution must continue to develop and grow to afford every person who seeks access, a pathway to achieving their goals. This means that it cannot be business as usual at AVEC. We must implement improved methods of outreach to our target group; we must develop programmes with a heightened level of relevance; and we must foment partnerships that are more apt and more strategic. We must rise to new standards to prepare our students for a standards-driven work and business environment.”
“…The theme is indicative of both your vision and your self-assurance. Undoubtedly, you students have improved your knowledge, skill-set and attitude to greatly enhance the possibility of making your dreams come true. I congratulate AVEC on its having taken this confident stand, despite recent setbacks, to pursue its goals and objectives of providing relevant, high-quality training opportunities for our young people to develop, grow and make their own mark on our society.”
Carty noted that in light of the prominence given to, and importance placed on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) “across the hemisphere”, it is important for the empowerment of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Therefore, here at the AVEC, I remind you of the important leading role you must play in the scheme of things. You have restructured your management responsibilities to achieve internal growth and cohesion, but the external image must also be reflective of a new direction for the institution. This image will help to attract support from a community that is eager to be part of a success story. Please be reminded that vocational skills development, even in the context of the CSME, is the responsibility of an institution such as the AVEC, and be assured that we in the Ministry will continue to provide the leadership and support to facilitate your vision and aspirations, as much as is practicable.”
CSME, the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, has generated much debate over the past years with some focusing on skilled qualification and its effect on the region. The education minister explained that AVEC is “perfectly positioned to create synergies and harness institutional capacity to deal frontally and adequately with issues related to the CSME issues, and it must do so by aggressively pursuing regional skills qualifications and thereby increasing employment options. It is noted that without the establishment of national skill standards, countries and people may also find difficulties in attracting enterprise investment, as this ought to become the common denominator for attracting industry into St. Kitts and Nevis and the sub-region generally.”