Statement by Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley
Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture
at the Fifth Sitting of the Second Session of the
Fourth House of Assembly held on Thursday, 20th October, 2020
Training Programmes at HLSCC
Mister Speaker, placing Virgin Islanders at the centre of development activities through expanding access to educational opportunities continues to be a central focus of this Government’s agenda. The H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) continues to expand its offerings through various Memoranda of Understanding. Today I am pleased to give a statement on three recent programmes in which the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) has been engaged.
Emergency Medical Technician Programme
Firstly, Mr. Speaker, I will speak on the Emergency Medical Technician Programme. On Friday, 31st January 2020, six candidates successfully graduated from the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician programme during a graduation ceremony and became the first locally trained cohort that are certified regionally by the Caribbean Association of Fire Chiefs through a Memorandum of Understanding with HLSCC.
The programme was delivered at the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital by six instructors, namely, Dr. Dominick Frazer, Dr. Chrisel Bovell, Dr. Craig Stoutt, Rodney Brathwaite, Nurse Gail Scotland, and Nurse Angela Rock. The curriculum was delivered based on both UK and US standards for three hours, three days a week. The scope of work included independent studies, classroom work and demonstrations, clinical rotations in the emergency room, operating theater, obstetrics ward and submission of two research papers.
The primary focus of the Advanced Emergency Medical Technician programme, Mr. Speaker, is to provide advanced emergency medical care and transportation for critical and emergent patients who access the emergency medical system. The programme spanned four months, and qualifying individuals possessed a minimum of two years’ prior knowledge.
Mr. Speaker, the addition of the trained technicians is a big step towards enhancing the quality of care in the pre-hospital setting, as the technicians are now equipped with advanced skills to assess and intervene with the support of medical direction from a physician. They will now be able to start IV access, administer drugs and provide advanced airway support which will give patients a higher level of care and decrease pre-hospital morbidity and mortality rates.
I congratulate the graduates—Burton Richardson, Curdalia Guishard, Eric Thompson, Jacinda Ettienne, Rudolph Lewis, and Shenelle Williams.
Solar Technician Training Programme
Seondly, Mr. Speaker, I would like to speak on the Solar Technician Training Programme. On January 22, 2020 a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) and Power 52 was signed to form the Caribbean Energy Institute to equip Virgin Islanders and belongers with the tools required to participate in the burgeoning renewable energy industry in the Virgin Islands.
Mr. Speaker, it is no longer enough for the college to be offering the same programmes for 30 years. That is why the college’s new position is to become the regional institution of choice with new and redeveloped programmes. It is believed that programmes such as solar technician training and marine and maritime programmes will so position the institution.
The certifications attached to both programmes, Mr. Speaker, are internationally recognized for quality, ensuring that graduates will be able to compete for employment at home and abroad. Students will be prepared to sit the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) examination for PV Entry level which then qualifies them to be installers, which qualifies them for the BVI’s class E licence.
Mr. Speaker, this training initiative was made possible through the combined efforts of the Government of the Virgin Islands, the BVI Electricity Corporation, H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Power 52, and, our major donor, Unite BVI.
Marine Professional Training Programme
Thirdly, Mr. Speaker, the Marine Professional Training Programme is four months of intensive training inclusive of two months of courses at HLSCC followed by a further two months of paid apprenticeship. Candidates commit to 40 hours per week for the duration in order to complete successfully.
Mr. Speaker, the first cohort completed courses for Level 1: Marine Hand, and are currently in the field completing their apprenticeships. A second cohort for Level 1 begins in March.
Students have received training to international standards certified and accredited by various bodies, including the American Boating and Yachting Council, the Royal Yachting Association, BVI Lifeguards, and will soon complete Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping.
Mister Speaker, this training has been made possible through generous grants from the Premier’s Office and Unite BVI.
As the College is now in its 30th year, Mister Speaker, we can expect to learn of other educational opportunities that the college will be offering as we continue to seek new ways to empower our people.