Minister Karim approves certification of WAC's to the Private Sector

Caption: Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training Senator the Honourable Fazal Karim. (Photo courtesy: Office of the Parliament)

October 28, 2014: The Workforce Assessment Centers (WAC) has been extended to the private sector. This from the Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (MTEST), Fazal Karim at the National Training Agency’s (NTA) launch of the programme on October27, 2014.


He referred to the move as “testimonial” as twelve private organisations out of thirteen received their approval certification to function as WACs. 


The launch, which took place at MTEST's Conference Room, Level 18 International Waterfront Centre, is all part of developing the national workforce through private sector partnerships.


Karim gave a historical background of the WAC initiative which dates back to the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) in 2011 and was held under the patronage of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar. 


The purpose of the WACs, noted Karim, is to “certify the uncertified, increase the creation of job opportunities, ensure that citizens are certified according to their aptitudes and attitudes.” Additionally, it is to recognize those persons who may not have been formally recognized in the system, he stated.


 He also announced that “MIC, NESC and YTEPP have awarded 5,674 persons with over 15,000 unit awards.” This figure among other institutions in the Technical Vocational Education Training Sector (TVET) the Minister explained will increase the current participation rate that now stands at 65.23 percent.


He called on the NTA to consider “issuing the approved WACs to also be approved as investors”. Karim went a step further by informing the gathering that it is not simply approval, but an “investment in people, skills and brains.” 


Current millennia trends include “increased globalisation and increased localisation” which are driven by human capital, “the key ingredient to jobs”, he added.


Beginning January 2015, Karim has proposed to further recognise WACs with a full kit which encompasses a tool kit set, a coverall and a cap that reads “I am Workforce certified”.


You have to be prepared to extend services to everywhere you can. We must be all embracing," urged the minister, in closing.


SIDEBAR: Thirteen organisations, twelve belonging to the private sector were presented with their Certification of Approval to function as WACs. The organisations included the Trinidad & Tobago College of Massage and Beauty Culture, St. David’s Academy, Trinidad Etiquette and Protocol Management, Caribbean Diving and Marine, School of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Divine Health Care & Home Care Agency, Water & Sewage Authority (WASA), Trinidad Tower Crane Services, A Class Draperies & Interior, Face & Body Clinic, Advanced Solutions Technology Institute and Krystal’s Nursing Homecare Services.

Workforce Assessment Centers (WAC)
Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (MTEST)
National Energy Skills Centre (NESC)
Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training Senator the Honourable Fazal Karim
Technical Vocational Education Training Sector (TVET)
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