Categorized | National News

BTVI Graduates 300 Students

The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) has improved its quality of education, having received regional awards and examination accreditation. 

President of BTVI, Dr. Robert Robertson, addressing graduates at the Institute’s Commencement Ceremony yesterday, said the institution continues to build its brand to address the skills gap, having received two top Regional awards and City and Guilds accreditation. 

“In 2016, when I delivered my inaugural graduation speech as BTVI’s President, I said to that graduating class that BTVI is ‘not a dumping ground for low-achieving students or those who are not college material’.

“Three years later, two consecutive Top Regional Awards and the attainment of  City and Guilds accreditation, not only in  my view remained the same, it has been proven by our many success stories,” Dr. Robertson said. 

Three hundred skilled and trained students from BTVI entered the job market  yesterday following their graduation from the institute. 

Dr. Robertson told the class of 2019 that they now begin their individual journeys.

“Class of 2019, welcome to the first line in your stories of success to build your brand and that of BTVI. Congratulations!

“Though this Commencement Ceremony  for some of you  mark the end of your journey at BTVI, the word commencement itself means the beginning of something. 

“I don’t want you to believe that this is where the hard work ends or this is the time to become complacent.  In fact, it is quite the opposite; this is the moment where all your hard work and persistence mean the most. 

“It is now that you will put those salon management, practicum and entrepreneurial work-force prep lessons to the test; those coupled with your internship experience,” Dr. Robertson said.   

With BTVI former students working throughout the United States of America, Dr. Robinson said BTVI’s vision goes beyond just The Bahamas. 

“This week the Wall Street Journal ran a series of articles titled ‘What Employers Want From Young Hires’. Specifically, employers are looking for communication skills, listening skills, numeracy and adaptability. 

“The skills gap is global;  it is real, and it is particularly about technical and vocational skills…we live in changing times.

“We have graduates like Princeton Boston, who graduated from our Auto Mechanics program in 2012 and is now a Mechanical Engineer at Benteler Automotive, a German manufacturer for exhaust systems in Michigan. 

“Like Princeton, the possibilities for you became endless the moment you submitted your application and decided that technical and vocational training was your ticket to success,” Dr. Robertson said. 

BTVI’s Chairman, Kevin Basden, applauded the Class of 2019, adding that the stereotype about technical and vocational training must be eradicated. 

“You are graduating at a time when the skills gap in our Bahamas needs to be filled. Properly trained plumbers, electricians, welders  and other trades in the construction industry are needed. 

“The same is true in the IT, business, cosmetology, message therapy, fashion and design and other technical and vocational areas. 

“You are also graduating at a time when productivity needs to be improved. Be at work on time, whether you are an employee or as an employer who has an appointment with a client. Give it your best and display excellence at all times. Good customer service is vital,” Mr. Basden said. 

Established in 1949, and originally known as The National Technical School, BTVI is a publicly funded institute, garnering support from community supporters including the D’Aguilar family, and William Birchall, who at BTVI’s Freeport graduation, agreed to donate “$70,000 per year for two years to assist the Freeport campus in developing a formal Co-op Program to prepare students for the work force”.  

BTVI has developed and executed training programs for big name employers such as the Grand Bahama Shipyard, Freeport Container Port and Commonwealth Brewery. 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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