Basseterre, St. Kitts
Four Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes and institutions will soon be merged to form the National Training Institute (NTI), which will become a one-stop shop for skill and technical competency development by late 2018.
The NTI, which will be housed at the Advanced Vocational Education and Training Centre (AVEC), was initiated from a 2015 report entitled “Rationalization of the SKN TVET System” by Dr. Paulette Dunn-Pierre (Dunn, Pierre, Barnett and Associates). It was recommended that AVEC, Project Strong, the National Skills Training Programme (NSTP) and the training component of the People’s Employment Programme (PEP), which is now the Skills Training Empowerment Programme (STEP), should be streamlined.
“It needed to be streamlined for a number of reasons including cost-effectiveness, ensuring we have quality control, quality assurance, making sure certain processes are in place and ensuring that students leave with proper certification,” said CEO at the St. Kitts-Nevis TVET Secretariat, Kertney Thompson. He added that a committee has already been put in place in the Ministry of Education to discuss the way forward for the forthcoming institute.
The CEO added that, “The National Training Institute will include the functionality of AVEC and NSTP, the training component that is offered by STEP, the coordination of non-formal and formal training flexible programmes, and the pre-vocational courses that are offered under Project Strong.”
Project Strong is no longer at its physical location at Taylor’s Range. However, its courses are now being taught at AVEC.
Nevis is also set to benefit from this institute. The Multipurpose Centre in Nevis will be set up to provide connectivity and video conference capabilities between the centre and the National Training Institute on St. Kitts.
“So, if I want to take a course in hospitality and I’m on Nevis, and it’s offered at 2:00 P.M. and someone is teaching on St. Kitts, I don’t have to catch a boat to come to St. Kitts. I’ll go to the Multipurpose Centre in Nevis and be able to take the course just like an online course, but it’s going to be done in real time,” he said.
The forthcoming National Training Institute is part of the Government’s TVET Enhancement Project, which is geared towards improving access to quality education and training, participation and quality assurance in the educational system in St. Kitts and Nevis. The project started in 2016 and is expected to be completed in 2021.