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“Building a new institutionality for Training in Trinidad & Tobago”. Presenter: Mr. Fazal Karim Chief Executive Officer NATIONAL TRAINING AGENCY 30th July 2003. 36 th Meeting of the Technical Committee of Cinterfor/ILO – La Antigua, Guatemala. Aim of Presentation.

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“Building a new institutionality for Trainingin Trinidad & Tobago”

Presenter: Mr. Fazal Karim

Chief Executive Officer


30th July 2003

36th Meeting of the Technical Committee of Cinterfor/ILO – La Antigua, Guatemala

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Aim of Presentation

  • Innovative Experiences in the Technical Vocational Education and Training [TVET] in Trinidad and Tobago

  • The New Institutionality in Training for Trinidad and Tobago

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  • Trinidad And Tobago - An Overview

  • Government Policy

  • Problems affecting the Training System

  • The Role of the National Training Agency

  • Addressing these problems

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Trinidad And Tobago - An Overview

  • Twin island state located near South American mainland

  • Population of about 1.3 million

  • Average annual growth rate of 0.5%

  • Engaged in economic integration – FTAA, Mercosur, NAFTA, WTO/GATT, Cotonou Agreement

  • Engaged in Caricom Single

    Market and Economy –


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  • IT skills becoming a necessity for employment

  • Concerned percentage of 16-25 age group that did

    not succeed in traditional academics


  • Emphasis on training for social development


  • Expansion in Energy and Construction Sector [Oil & Gas]

  • Sustained growth in Information Technology Sector

  • Diversification into Services and Knowledge Products

  • Globalization

  • Stable Government

  • Legislative machinery in place


Trinidad And Tobago : Overview cont’d

The Trinidad and Tobago Environment

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Government Policy

  • Vision 2020

  • Universal Primary and Secondary Education

  • Present Statistics – Graduates annually

    • Primary – 26,000

    • Secondary [Ordinary] – 18,000

    • Secondary [Advanced] – 8,000

    • Tertiary [University] – 1,500

  • Aim – 20% participation in Tertiary Education by 2005

  • Post-Secondary Education to be tripled in 5-7 years

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The Student’s Path

  • Primary Education

    • Secondary Entrance Assessment [SEA] Examination

  • Secondary Education

    • Ordinary Level – CXC, NEC

    • Advanced Level – Cambridge, CAPE

  • TVET



  • Tertiary

    • University of the West Indies

    • Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Technology

    • University of Trinidad and Tobago (Proposed)

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Current Problems in TVET

  • Training Mismatch

  • Proliferation of Certificates

  • Articulation

  • Occupational Standards of Competence

  • Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

  • Uncertified Apprenticeship Programme

  • Limited access to education and training

  • Portability of qualifications

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The National Training Agency

  • Caricom Strategy - 1990

  • NTA officially launched - 1999

  • The National Training Agency (NTA) is the umbrella agency for effecting reform in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Trinidad and Tobago.

  • Its role is to co-ordinate and regulate TVET

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Major Achievements

  • National Career Guidance Programme

    • Over 30,000 School Children

  • Completed Seven Labour Market Surveys

    • Trinidad – four

    • Tobago – three

  • Developed Seven Industry Training Organizations (ITOs)

  • Developed Seventeen Standards / Qualifications

  • Approved fourteen major training providers to deliver the qualifications

  • Target – to grant 3,000 awards by the year end

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Level 5 - Chartered & Advanced Professional (e.g. Chartered Engineers, Accountants): Association ofChartered & Certified Accountants (ACCA)

Level 4 – Professional (e.g. Degree): ROYTEC, UWI

Level 3 – Technician & Technologist (e.g. Air Conditioning & Refrigeration, Mechanical Engineering Technician): Trinidad and Tobago Institute of Technology, San Fernando Technical Institute (COSTAATT)

Level 2 – Craft (e.g. Electrical Installation Craft, Plumbing Craft): MIC

Level 1 - Pre-Craft (e.g. Early Childhood Care, Housekeeping): School of Continuing Studies

National Qualification Framework

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How does the NTA propose to address TVET deficiencies?

  • Trinidad and Tobago National Vocational Qualification

    • Standardized National Vocational Qualification for courses pursued in TVET

    • Rigorous Quality Assurance System – similar to that in the UK

    • Recognized by employers

    • Competency-Based

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NTA Strategic Functions

  • To conduct Labour Market Surveys and distribute their findings to all stakeholders

  • To produce, with industry, National Occupational Standards of Competence (NOS)

  • To develop, produce and award Trinidad and Tobago National Vocational Qualifications (TTNVQs)

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NTA Strategic Functions cont’d

  • To establish a quality assurance regime for accrediting Technical Vocational Education and Training(TVET) providers

  • To manage a National Apprenticeship Programme (NAP) as identified in government’s policy

  • To market and promote the products and services of the National Training Agency (NTA)

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National Training Agency

The New Technical and Vocational Education and Training Approach

Labour Market Research

Quality Assurance

Occupational Standards & Sector Support


Competency -based TVET

Assessment & Certification



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The National Accreditation Commission

  • Developed through collaboration by CORD/NTA

  • Expected to become operational by January 2004

  • Quality assure Programmes and Institutions through Accreditation

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Why the TTNVQ?

  • Rationalize the range of Qualifications - One Qualification

  • Benchmarked against the National Occupational Standards set by Industry Experts

  • Independent Curriculum

  • Competency-Based – done On the Job or in a Training Institution

  • Used in Skill Assessments & PLAR etc.

  • Used in Apprenticeship, Training, HR etc.