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Letter: The Vincentian education revolution NDP style

Friday, 13 September 2013 12:00 Written by  font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

Dear Sir:

I am told that the NDP will start a real education revolution when they introduce an apprenticeship system in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. A system that will see young people learning lifetime skills that will ensure that they will find work here or abroad. A set of skills that will encourage entrepreneurs, young people starting their own firms here and abroad. Every country is seeking skilled workers and artisans.

Young people who are unable to achieve qualifications at schools are known to react favourably to one on one training alongside a master in certain trades. Those that achieve in school but are unable to find work will also benefit immensely.

The employers will get these young people free and the government will pay the employers an amount of money that they will pay to the apprentice for his labour. The amounts will be small and the idea is that employers will be encouraged to employ young people and offer them indentured apprenticeships.

Every approved skilled worker, artists, artisans, chefs, cooks, hotel and tourism, engineers, shoe mender, painter, mason, carpenter, IT wizard, electronic engineer, boat and ships engineer, vehicle mechanics, but to mention a few, will get a free assistant. After a two- or five-year on job training young people will be assessed and awarded certificates according to their acquired skills.

Young people will start right at the bottom, making tea and cleaning up the workshop, but with plenty of time watching and assisting the training expert tradesman.

The Apprentice Perspective is an educational theory of apprenticeship concerning the process of learning through physical integration into the practices associated with the subject, such as workplace training. By developing similar performance to other practitioners, an apprentice will come to understand the tacit (informally taught) duties of the position. In the process of creating this awareness, the learner also affect their environment; as they are accepted by master practitioners, their specific talents and contributions within the field are taken into account and integrated into the overall practice.

Training a new generation of practitioners of a structured competency a basic set of skills. Apprenticeships ranged from craft occupations or trades to those seeking a professional license to practice in a regulated profession. Apprentices (or in early modern usage "prentices") or protégés build their careers from apprenticeships. Most of their training is done while working for an employer who helps the apprentices learn their trade or profession, in exchange for their continuing labour for an agreed period after they have achieved measurable competencies. For more advanced apprenticeships, theoretical education was also involved, with jobs and farming over a period of 4–6 years.

To be successful, the individual must have perseverance, ambition, and initiative. Like a college education, the successful completion of an apprenticeship term does not come easily, but is the result of hard work on the part of the apprentice. In practically every skilled occupation, more than fundamental knowledge of arithmetic is essential. The ability to read, write and speak well is beneficial in any walk of life, but in some apprenticeship occupations it is more important than in others.

Austria

Apprenticeship training in Austria is organized in a dual education system: company-based training of apprentices is complemented by compulsory attendance of a part-time vocational school for apprentices (Berufsschule). It lasts two to four years – the duration varies among the 250 legally recognized apprenticeship trades.

About 40 percent of all Austrian teenagers enter apprenticeship training upon completion of compulsory education (at age 15). This number has been stable since the 1950s

Australia

Australian apprenticeships encompass all apprenticeships and traineeships. They cover all industry sectors in Australia and are used to achieve both 'entry-level' and career 'upskilling' objectives. There were 470,000 Australian apprentices in-training as at 31 March 2012, an increase of 2.4% from the previous year. Australian government employer and employee incentives may be applicable, while state and territory governments may provide public funding support for the training element of the initiative. Australian apprenticeships combine time at work with formal training and can be full-time, part-time or school-based.

Britain

Apprenticeship has been a system used in Britain since the Industrial Revolution. It was kind of abandoned in the late 1980s with Britain's general loss of manufacturing capacity, but since reintroduced in 1994 as a method of getting youth into work with a good knowledge and skill.

In 1994, the British government introduced Modern Apprenticeships (since renamed 'Apprenticeships' in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; Scotland has retained Modern Apprenticeship), based on frameworks that are now devised by Sector Skill Councils.

Canada

In Canada, each province has its own apprenticeship program. At the completion of the provincial exam they may write the Interprovincial Standard exam. British Columbia is one province that uses these exams as the provincial exam. This means a qualification for the province will satisfy the whole country. The interprovincial exam questions are agreed upon by all provinces.

France

On January 18, 2005, President Jacques Chirac announced the introduction of a law on a programme for social cohesion comprising the three pillars of employment, housing and equal opportunities. The French government pledged to further develop apprenticeship as a path to success at school and to employment, based on its success: in 2005, 80% of young French people who had completed an apprenticeship entered employment. In France, the term apprenticeship often denotes manual labour but it also includes other jobs like secretary, manager, engineer, shop assistant... The plan aimed to raise the number of apprentices from 365,000 in 2005 to 500,000 in 2009. To achieve this aim, the government is, for example, granting tax relief for companies when they take on apprentices. (Since 1925 a tax has been levied to pay for apprenticeships.)

Germany

Apprenticeships are part of Germany's dual education system, and as such form an integral part of many people's working life. Finding employment without having completed an apprenticeship is almost impossible. For some particular technical university professions, such as food technology, a completed apprenticeship is often recommended; for some, such as marine engineering it may even be mandatory.

India

In India, the Apprentices Act was enacted in 1961. It regulates the programme of training of apprentices in the industry so as to conform to the syllabi, period of training etc. as laid down by the Central Apprenticeship Council and to utilise fully the facilities available in industry for imparting practical training with a view to meeting the requirements of skilled manpower for industry.

The Apprentices Act enacted in 1961 and was implemented effectively in 1962. Initially the Act envisaged training of trade apprentices. The Act was amended in 1973 to include training of graduate and diploma engineers as "graduate" and "technician" apprentices. The Act was further amended in 1986 to bring within its purview the training of the 10+2 vocational stream as "technician (vocational)" apprentices.

Pakistan

In Pakistan, special apprenticeship programs running to fulfil the needs of IT industry in the coming years. So, for this purpose Pakistan Software Export Board formerly PSEB has launched a very attractive program for young IT graduates.

Switzerland

Switzerland has an apprenticeship similarly to Germany and Austria. The educational system is ternar, which is basically a dual education system with mandatory practical courses. The length of an apprenticeship can be 2, 3 or 4 years.

Apprenticeship with a length of two years are for persons with weaker school results. The certificate after successfully completing a two-year apprenticeship is called "Eidgenössisches Berufsattest" (EBA).

Apprenticeship with a length of 3 or 4 years are the most common ones. The certificated after successfully completing an 3 or 4 year apprenticeship is called "Certificat Fédérale de Capacité" (CFC) or "Eidgenössisches Fähigkeitszeugnis"

Turkey

In Turkey, apprenticeship has been part of the small business culture for centuries. There are three levels of apprenticeship. First level is the apprentice, i.e. the "çirak" in Turkish. The second level is pre-master which is called, "kalfa" in Turkish. The mastery level is called as "usta" and is the highest level of achievement. An 'usta' is eligible to take in and accept new 'ciraks' to train and bring them up. The training process usually starts when the small boy is of age 10-11 and becomes a full grown master at the age of 20-25. Many years of hard work and disciplining under the authority of the master is the key to the young apprentice's education and learning process.

United States

Apprenticeship programs in the United States are regulated by the Smith-Hughes Act (1917), The National Industrial Recovery Act (1933), and National Apprenticeship Act, also known as the "Fitzgerald Act."

In the modern era, the number of apprenticeships has declined greatly in the United States. Free traditional apprenticeship job training has largely been replaced with on-the-job training (pay as you work), vocational classes, or college courses, which requires the student or an organization to pay for tuition.

Let there be no doubt this will get Saint Vincent and the Grenadines back to work and will prepare young people with a much needed discipline in work ethics. Young people cannot get jobs because they expect too much, they leave school and expect an employer to pay them as an untrained unskilled person top wages, that is one of the reasons they cannot find employment. This apprenticeship scheme will put our youngsters for the first time ever, into the real world with real world skills.

Let’s become a first world country with a first world type leader, Arnhim Eustace, a man with the economist training to take this master scheme forward, a man who is a proven and tested economist of 'A' typical quality in fiscal training and application.

This could be a real education revolution without the Marxist influence.

Peter Binose
The self appointed whistleblower
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