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House: Workforce Development bolstered

Education minister Diallo Rabain (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

The Ministry of Education’s community schools will be moved to the Department of Workforce Development after a fall in enrolment.

Seven staff members at the Community Education Development Programme will be moved to Workforce Development.

Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, said the move would bolster the department’s efforts to help Bermudians.

Mr Rabain said: “The knowledge and skill sets that the CEDP staff will bring to the work programme of these sections will directly support the vulnerable Bermudians in preparation for the workforce, as originally intended.

“Additionally, the transition of the CEDP staff and financial resources will align with supporting the Government’s long-term objective of establishing a one-stop career centre within the Department.”

Mr Rabain told the House of Assembly a review of the programme was launched in December due to a decline in enrolment. He said 746 clients were enrolled in courses in 2017-18 compared to 2,505 in 2012-13.

The review found 30 per cent of those enrolled at the CEDP were non-Bermudians. It was also found that 90 per cent of courses were sports or leisure related and developmental courses were not “credentialled”.

Mr Rabain said: “What the data did not reveal was whether the courses reached a group in need or if the right courses were being offered. The high participation rate by non-Bermudians and the high percentage of sports/leisure courses inferred that our vulnerable Bermudians do not make up a large portion of the client group.”

Mr Rabain said there would be minimal disruption to the service while the changeover was under way. He added: “A detailed communication strategy will be developed informing the general public of various alternative programmes and course providers.”