Labour Min. Foulkes: First Fully Online NTA Cohort Trained in Soft Skills

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Minister of Labour, Transport and Local Government, Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes gave his National Report, October 26, 2020. (BIS Photo/Kristaan Ingraham)

Two hundred thirty two young Bahamians, comprising the first online cohort of the National Training Agency have successfully completed training in Soft Skills. The Hon Dion Foulkes, Minister of Labour, Transport and Local Government, during a National Address, said in July of this year the NTA, responsible for workforce development, launched its first “fully” online program in 13 islands offering certifications in Office Procedures, Web Designs, Graphic Designs, Information Technology and Microsoft Office Suites. Minister Foulkes informed that along with Soft Skills, the students are now more than half way through training in technical skills.

During the televised address on October 26, he provided an overview of the ministries, departments and authorities under his purview including the NTA, the Department of Labour, the National Tripartite Council, the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality, the Consumer Affairs Division, the Prices Commission and the Consumer Protection Commission.

“In response to COVID-19, the NTA has adopted its full online strategy that leverages its innovation over the last three years. This innovation includes the development of a full interactive online platform called Brightspace.

This platform allows for the registration, training, tracking and assessments of all trainees throughout The Bahamas. All assessors, trainers and monitors are fully trained in the use of this Online Platform,” said Minister Foulkes.

“Young Bahamians throughout The Bahamas can now register, be assessed and participate in online training and certification courses offered by the NTA. During the onset of the pandemic the agency quickly transitioned to its online platform and completed the training and certification of 163 students who were involved in the Pre-apprenticeship Programme.” Moreover, 800 young Bahamians from all of the Family Islands are expected to be trained over the next year.

Minister Foulkes said NTA intends to develop an island specific focus which involves identifying the 23 training and workforce development needs of each island and tailoring its training to meet those needs. Furthermore, NTA in conjunction with Doctor’s Hospital, is training 30 emergency medical technicians. Outstanding graduates will be offered full-time employment with Doctor’s Hospital. The partnership is a model of the strategic partnership that NTA is developing with industry leaders as it continues to carry out its mandate of training and improving the workforce of The Bahamas, said Minister Foulkes.

Through its Job Placement Unit, NTA continues to engage and partner with industry leaders to recruit trainees. Screening and recruitment for the cruise line industry namely Mediterranean Shipping Company and Royal Caribbean Cruise 24 Line is presently being conducted.

“These exercises are expected to result in hundreds of jobs in the short term. The NTA remains a Go-To Agency for employers seeking well-trained entry-level employees,” he added. NTA is currently planning the launch of its Institute of Leadership and
Management for a new online cohort. Registration is being received from Bahamians throughout The Bahamas. Currently, there is no face-to-face training. Minister Foulkes advised that the agency is well prepared to offer blended learning in compliance with Ministry of Health COVID-19 protocols.

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