Applicants to $10 million Competency-Based Training Fund can now apply online

Employers seeking to make their businesses more competitive through the Competency-Based Training Fund (CBTF) now have the opportunity to submit their proposals online.

A new "portal" section of the website - www.cbtf.com.bb/portal - has been introduced for the second cycle of funding. It allows applicants, whether employers or training providers, to register as members and fill out their proposals on the website in a safe and secure environment. They are also able to save applications in progress so that they can return to them and continue the application process at their convenience.

A new “portal” section of the website – www.cbtf.com.bb/portal – has been introduced for the second cycle of funding. It allows applicants, whether employers or training providers, to register as members and fill out their proposals on the website in a safe and secure environment. They are also able to save applications in progress so that they can return to them and continue the application process at their convenience.

Another valuable addition to the application process is the introduction of IDB-approved Technical Consultants who can assist in refining applicants’ draft proposals prior to submission. Requests should be made to the CBTF Management Unit (CMU) for this assistance in the areas of proposal writing, curricula and standards development, or procurement; and will be furnished at no cost to the applicants.

Liaison Officer at the CMU, Andrea Austin said that the portal was designed to assist prospective applicants in submitting high-quality proposals in a timely manner. "In the first cycle submissions were made in hard copy only and for this cycle we wanted to give applicants the added ease and convenience of applying online, if they wanted to. Interest and participation has been high and continues to grow," Ms. Austin noted.

Liaison Officer at the CMU, Andrea Austin said that the portal was designed to assist prospective applicants in submitting high-quality proposals in a timely manner. “In the first cycle submissions were made in hard copy only and for this cycle we wanted to give applicants the added ease and convenience of applying online, if they wanted to. Interest and participation has been high and continues to grow,” Ms. Austin noted.

Applicants should note, though, that the signature page with the original signatures of the employer representative and training provider representative must be submitted in hard copy to the CMU at Unit 3, Building 3 Harbour Industrial Estate, Bridgetown, St. Michael to the attention of the CMU Manager.

Up to $10 million remains available for competency-based workforce training leading to certification for this second Call for Proposals which opened on August 15 and ends on Tuesday September 30, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. In the first round of funding $3.6 million in grant funding was awarded to seven training projects designed to transform the Barbadian workforce and make businesses more productive and sustainable.

Businesses seeking to become more globally competitive

The CBTF comes at a timely juncture in the country’s development particularly as businesses seek to become more globally competitive and export their services even with protracted economic challenges. Workers can also benefit greatly by gaining certification and demonstrating skills which can lead to promotion and other opportunities.

Emphasising the long-term benefits of the training that the CBTF will fund, CMU Manager, Anderson Lowe said, "The overall vision is to raise the level of training in the workforce and to improve the level of certification thereby making us more competitive so we can go out and offer services that are world class. We're looking for an all-round increase in the level of productivity and the sustainability component of the fund is to ensure that programmes continue to develop Barbados into the foreseeable future."

Emphasising the long-term benefits of the training that the CBTF will fund, CMU Manager, Anderson Lowe said, “The overall vision is to raise the level of training in the workforce and to improve the level of certification thereby making us more competitive so we can go out and offer services that are world class. We’re looking for an all-round increase in the level of productivity and the sustainability component of the fund is to ensure that programmes continue to develop Barbados into the foreseeable future.

Proposals that comply with three criteria will be reviewed and ranked by the CBTF’s Technical Reviewing and Selection Committee: (1) those submitted by a partnership of at least one private employer and one training provider; (2) where the training to be provided is based on competency-based occupational standards; and (3) where the training leads to certification by a recognised awarding body.”

Proposals that do not meet the criteria will be sent back to the partners with comments. Those partnerships will also be invited to resubmit their proposals in latter cycles.

Additional criteria, though not necessary for eligibility, will be used to prioritise the selection of proposals. These criteria are: the number of workers to be trained under the proposal exceeds those working in the employer’s business; the participation of sector associations and the merging of firms in partnership with the training provider; and a clear strategy of sustainability after the CBTF funding period. All details are available on the fund’s website, www.cbtf.com.bb, or by calling the CBTF office at (246) 227-9090.

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