A critical challenge that faces Barbados is the development of a competent workforce that can compete in a fierce global environment. Human Resource Development through well-planned educational initiatives can contribute significantly to promoting the interests of individuals, enterprises, the economy and society within Barbados. By helping individuals to gain access to decent work and sustainable jobs, education and training, particularly technical and vocational education can impact positively on the region’s economic development, thereby achieving full employment and promoting social inclusion. A National Qualifications Framework is a pre-requisite for the transformation that is required in the changing global economic environment.
According to the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy 2011 – 2016, the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) will be the major mechanism to transform education and training in Barbados. Through well-planned educational initiatives such as the NQF, individuals will be given the opportunity to gain quality assured, nationally and regionally-recognised qualifications, and recognition and credit for the acquisition of knowledge and skills. By design, the NQF will:
- consolidate the delivery of education and training under a single framework;
- make it easier for learners to enter the educational system and to move and progress horizontally and vertically within it;
- improve the educational quality in Barbados;
- expand access to learning and work opportunities for all; and
- enable learners to develop to their full potential.
Further, it is recommended: that an integrated, internationally comparable, credit and standards-based NQF be implemented in Barbados. The NQF should be comprehensive; provide a strong link between different educational sectors represented by a single set of levels and descriptors specifying what the learning outcomes should be at each level and for each type of qualifications; and inclusive of all educational sectors within the country.
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