A cohort of some 190 young Bahamians graduated from the National Training Agency (NTA) in a virtual commencement ceremony held February 18, 2021. Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard delivered the keynote address. In this first fully virtual cohort, trainees were from 12 islands of the archipelago, including New Providence, and were certified in Information Technology, Graphic Design, Microsoft Office, Web Design, and Office Procedures. Minister Pintard in his address encouraged the graduates to follow their dreams and strive for excellence.
“I come here this evening with the message and advice to follow your dreams,” he said. “I also wish to give you 13 points on how you can empower yourselves to live your best life.” He quoted American Educator, Social Activist and Author, Geoffrey Canada, who
urged educators to be ‘results driven.’ Minister Pintard said several criteria that should be followed to achieve success in life include self-empowerment; taking responsibility for one’s own life; and ensuring that others are not disenfranchised.
He said the 13 points included being committed to lifelong learning; having a winning attitude; staying focused; being relentless; minimizing distractions; setting goals and high standards and knowing the source of one’s strength. Executive Director of National Training Agency Gadville McDonald said the government was ‘intentional’ with how students were prepared with employment skills that could be leveraged for the rest of their lives. He noted the agency also provided the opportunity for entrepreneurship.
“I am happy to report that some 27 percent of graduates have already entered the job market via a job placement platform,” he said. “We are, therefore, calling out to employers to look to the NTA to fill your employment requirements.”
Mr. McDonald also remarked that through its use of innovation and technology, the agency has been able to reduce its need for government subvention by 60 percent in the past few years. The ceremony culminated with conferment of certificates and awards for outstanding achievement. NTA will assist the trainees with job placement.