NEW BOARD – Minister of Education, Science and Technology, the Honourable Jerome Fitzgerald announced the nine-member Board of The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) on Wednesday. The institution is now a semi-autonomous body. Shown here from left to right are Board member, Kevin Basden, General Manager of The Bahamas Electricity Corporation; Peter Whitehead, Deputy Chairman, and consultant at Osprey Construction; Minister Fitzgerald and Chairman, Felix Stubbs, General Manager of IBM Bahamas Limited.
The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) is now a semi-autonomous body with a nine-member Board, announced Minister of Education, Science and Technology, the Honourable Jerome Fitzgerald on Wednesday.
“BTVI students will be supported by a very able-bodied board of visionary and successful leaders in their own right, who will work with the management of BTVI to map out a more progressive future for BTVI,” said Minister Fitzgerald during an afternoon press conference.
Other members of the Board from various industries include: Cadwell Pratt, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Works and Urban Development; Kevin Basden, General Manager of The Bahamas Electricity Corporation; Thelma Grimes, retired public servant; Godfrey Forbes, President, Bahamas Contractors Association; Henry Storr, Proprietor, Storr’s Electric; Sabrina Francis, Fashion Designer and owner of Se-B Fashion Designs and Ruby Nottage, retired Supreme Court Justice.
With semi-autonomy, BTVI will have its own budget. Previously, it was under the auspices of the Ministry of Education.
Meanwhile, Minister Fitzgerald said the Board’s appointment is a leap forward for vocational and technical education in The Bahamas.
“The Board will play a critical part in the development of BTVI. It will help to raise the profile of BTVI from a policy and national perspective,” said Minister Fitzgerald.
“We want to be able to reduce the number of labour permits and BTVI plays a critical role in that. BTVI is addressing the needs of the country in terms of skilled labour,” he added.
Mr. Stubbs added that the Board recognizes the significance of BTVI. “It is important to the advancement of the economy and skilled laborers are needed to help move the economy forward. At BTVI, we want every deserving person to be given the opportunity to enhance their skills,” he stated.
Sitting as the ex-officio member of the Board until the appointment of a president is BTVI’s Manager and Consultant, Dr. Iva Dahl. Minister Fitzgerald commended Dr. Dahl and her team for their hard work and efforts in elevating the quality of programmes and training along with local and international partnerships, which have advanced BTVI.
“One program I am particularly impressed with is BTVI’s construction trades training which it has taken to the Family Islands to ensure that scores of Bahamians have an opportunity to obtain skills training in this lucrative field,” said Minister Fitzgerald.
Minister Fitzgerald noted that studies show that higher levels of vocational education and training qualifications and workforce development are strongly linked to increased workforce participation and productivity of society.
BTVI offers various programs of study where students are able to obtain diplomas and certificates. The institution also offers Associate of Science degrees in: Office Administration, Business Office Technology, Construction Technology, Electronics Engineering Installers and Repairs, in addition to Information Management.
In the past two years enrollment has increased by more than 25%. There are 1,957 students at BTVI with 1,746 alone at its Nassau campus and the remaining at the Freeport campus.
By Ms. Hadassah Hall
Public Relations Officer
The Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute
Direct line: 502-6376
BTVI's mission: To provide learning opportunities that enable individuals to be globally competitive and economically independent.