Apprenticeship programme sees 32 young people sign up
Thirty-two young people have been placed in on-the-job training under Government's National Certification and Apprenticeship Programme.
Junior Economy Minister Ashfield DeVent told the House of Assembly the initiative would give participants the chance to launch careers in their chosen fields or trades.
Speaking during the Budget debate on the Department of Labour and Training, Mr DeVent told MPs yesterday: “The core business of the National Training Board is to identify, implement, maintain and upgrade the skills and talent of our people.
“With the introduction of the National Certification and Apprenticeship Programmes we are fostering and creating a standard of excellence congruent to Bermuda's economic development.
“The NTB will continue to play a leading role in shaping the characteristics of the future workforce, particularly those individuals employed in technical and vocational careers.
“The Apprenticeship Programmes have improved in that the NTB has successfully contracted 32 Apprentices formally utilising the 2009 Apprenticeship Regulations.
“This essentially means that employers have agreed to ensure that our young adults receive work related training on the job whilst they participate in obtaining theory application in an institution on Island or abroad.”
Mr DeVent said the contracts range from two to four years and the apprentices should emerge with recognised certificates in their chosen fields.
He said NTB was has agreed in principle for some young adults to be allowed to work on the development at the National Sports Centre.
“The project is expected last for at least two years,” he said. “This essentially will mean that they would provide work opportunities for the duration.
“The impact is not just to employ persons, but to provide them with exposure to a development not otherwise seen in Bermuda. Again, the expectation is that our young people will complete with certification in hand.”
NTB's budget for 2011-12 is $2.28 million, down $1.56 million on last year.
Mr DeVent said certifications in carpentry, masonry, plumbing would now be deferred as a result, although horticulture will go ahead.
United Bermuda Party MP Charlie Swan responded: “I have been looking forward and I have been telling my people it's coming, it's coming. That was for plumbers.
“They should be pushed ahead. It's going to be a tough year this year but we want people to be ready to take these positions when the come open.
“I would hope we could press on with certification as quickly as possible.”
Mr DeVent said 202 electricians have been given National Certificates, along with 71 welders, with a total of 40 people failing in those fields.