Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Grand Bahama took another step towards the goal of becoming a tech hub with the graduation of some 50 students of information and communication technology (ICT) in a ceremony, August 30, 2018 at Pelican Bay resort.
The ICT training was made possible by a partnership between the government of The Bahamas and Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI). It not only offered the young participants the opportunity to receive training and earn ICT certification completely free of charge, but the students were also paid a stipend after six-week sessions. The completion of the first phase has given the participants nine college credits.
Minister of State for Grand Bahama in the Office of the Prime Minister Kwasi Thompson spoke at the graduation saying: “The government’s vision is for Grand Bahama to become a technology hub. We are building this initiative from the ground up. We believe that this initiative can make a significant impact on our economy. The establishment and growth of a technology sector will create jobs in the tech industry and can have a spinoff effect in other industries such as real estate, tourism, retail, restaurants, and transportation among others.”
“As we prepare our island for technology ventures and businesses, it will be critical to adequately prepare our workforce to capitalize on new opportunities and compete in a local as well as global job market. You all will be entering the workforce in just a few short years. For some, it will be after college. For others, it will be after high school. Whichever path you take, this government has committed itself to preparing you now to be able to take advantage of these opportunities in the future.”
Thompson noted that students explored Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), Microsoft and Cisco systems. The training curriculum takes place over the next three summers: he pointed out that by the time the students graduate from high school, they will be BTVI-certified making them already employable or having a head start for tertiary education.
He said that the government has made the decision to make tuition free at BTVI, and as a result, enrolment has almost doubled in Grand Bahama. Since introducing IT fundamentals in Grand Bahama, BTVI has had to introduce three new classes of Intro to Computer because of the increase in enrolment.
“BTVI will play a pivotal role in our tech hub initiative,” said Minister Thompson. “I wish to take this opportunity to send the message to young people in Grand Bahama, that they should take advantage of this opportunity to prepare themselves. Come and take the tech courses and get certified, it’s free of charge. If you are unemployed and searching for work, now is the ideal time to prepare yourself.”
“We are also focused on developing other programmes to develop tech entrepreneurs who will be trained, and provided funding, from the Bahamas Development Bank,” he added.
Pictured: Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson (left), Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Harcourt Brown, and Dr. Robert Robertson, President of BTVI, listen during certificate presentation for the ICT Skills Development Summer Programme held at Pelican Bay resort August 30, 2018. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)
Pictured: One of the participants in the ICT Skills Development Summer Programme, Jaylen Pinder (centre) receives his certificate from Minister of State for Grand Bahama Kwasi Thompson (second left), during certificate presentation August 30, 2018 at Pelican Bay resort. Also on hand were Dr Robert Robertson, president of BTVI (right) and Alvin Butler (left). Jaylen’s mother. (BIS Photo/Andrew Miller)