BVI News

Tertiary education encouraged as more local employers hire outside

Dr Wheatley

Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley is encouraging students to pursue tertiary education after leaving high school so they can become more competitive in the evolving labour market locally.

Speaking at the Education Labour Connect Initiative hosted by his ministry earlier today, Dr Wheatley said with local employers largely looking overseas for employees, it is important that students try to obtain advanced levels of qualification to make themselves attractive for job offers that appear.

“I believe you upgrade yourself by going into tertiary education. You make yourself more marketable. Dr [Richard] Georges described all the great programmes that you have at the [H Lavity Stoutt Community] College (HLSCC) that can help to equip you for the workforce,” the Education Minister said.

“So, we believe it is a good decision for people to go from secondary education into an institution like H Lavity Stoutt and then you can decide what pathway you take from there. Whether you want to go straight into the workforce or get a Bachelors or a Master’s degree and of course, H Lavity Stoutt has been a good bridge for tertiary education,” Dr Wheatley said.

More competitive and internationalised

Dr Georges — HLSCC’s president — echoed the sentiments of the Education Minister in relation to pursuing tertiary education after secondary school.

“The BVI has become a more global player and the community have become more internationalised. While it might have been feasible for Dr Wheatley and our generation to plan to enter the job market out of high school, it has become a less and less feasible pathway as job seekers in the community have become more competitive,” Dr Georges said.

“Quite frankly, adding tertiary education is a necessity for a job seeker, it does not necessarily mean they are going to pursue an academic credential like an Associate Degree. But it could very well mean that they want to enter into the marine industry and the construction industry. We are not conflating or equating tertiary education with academic credentials. It simply means what training you are going to pursue post-secondary. So, they are going to come to the college to pick up that professional certification before they go into the job market,” the college’s President added.

Students concerned about additional school year

BVI News recently spoke with several students in Grade 12 — an additional year of secondary school instruction — and many expressed concern that the programme is simply a stop-gap solution that does not necessarily prepare them for the workforce or tertiary education.

Dr Wheatley noted his ministry made an assessment of the additional year and sought to answer what they were trying to accomplish. He said by the time students are finished with secondary school, they should be ready for tertiary level education or be prepared to enter the labour market.

“During the investigation of the purpose of the additional year, we’ve made some decisions. For those persons who are qualified, they’ll forgo that additional year and go directly to the community college to do an Associate Degree programme which gives credits towards doing a Bachelor programme in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and other places,” the Education Minister said.

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  1. well sah says:

    I wonder who he and his cabinet were voted in to protect?

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  2. BVI says:


  3. Schups says:

    Boy move with your waste of time a**. Since you got elected you reversed the additional year before it could’ve been proven whether it was a good thing and you ignored the technical school. Now you are here talking foolishness. Election cannot come fast enough.

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  4. WEW says:

    The kids leaving high school these days can’t even speak the Queens English.

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  5. seeing is believing says:

    Us young people are not buying this political gimmick anymore. “Go to school and when you come back you’ll get the job”… they say for years. As a victim of this political gimmick I’ve suffered since completing tertiary education and returning home.

    It’s your own people that block you from getting the jobs we were promised, you can encourage us to go to school and when we come back home and apply for a job in our field of study wait for years to hire us when we’ve had to find jobs in other industries and waste our degree.

    It is very annoying as young person BVI has to do better.

    Like 20
    • @Seeing says:

      While I sympathize with you I must add that our politicians have been setting up our young people to fail for decades. In addition to saying get your degree and you get the job, they excluded the part about being willing to start from the bottom, have a positive attitude, have patience, have a good work ethic etc. Not saying this is why you haven’t gotten your opportunity but it’s one of the main reasons why many young people end up in bad situations. We need to be real, honest and upfront with our young people. While as a local you have the RIGHT to be CONSIDERED FIRST once qualified, these things won’t come to fruition without the other attributes. While it is very important for progression, a degree alone will not carry you and a lot of people are learning that the hard way.

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  6. Hehe says:

    Some of the teachers cannot even speak and write English .

    Some of The principals can’t write English what do you expect .

    The Education System is going down the drain .

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  7. Mick Mars says:

    Natalio….please. You SHOULD know how it is. You go away to study, you come back, they don’t want to pay you what you are worth.

    You stay and gain the experience, you passed over for an expatriate, who is “qualified” at a clip they wasn’t paying you even if you had their degree.

    You can’t win either way you slice it because the culture of paying someone from abroad and keeping them standing on glass floors that act as your ceiling, keeps us BVI landers from ever progressing in fields they keep moaning that we ain’t qualified for.

    That’s why I can’t blame nobody getting educated abroad and then staying there to build a career that is commensurate with their earning potential after getting a degree(s) cause more than likely you won’t get it when you come back here.

    Work on that and we’ll work on the other part. But you have no power and a vision that will never be realized by your puppetmaster.

    Like 13
    • @Mick says:

      The irony in all this is that our OWN PEOPLE are the ones that f**k with us in this way and these same people try to brainwash us into thinking everything is the white man’s fault.

  8. @BIG youth says:


  9. Bye Bye says:

    Sir, pack your bags and get ready to leave. You wasted enough of our time. You can’t do the job. It is clear for all to see. Goodbye

  10. @Bye Bye says:

    Didn’t went in with the intention to do a job. The focus was monetary accumulation.

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  11. Plus says:

    Plus the Tourism industry is the biggest jobs market and there is nothing there you are pushing. Why not link up with the hotel school in Switzerland or join with Marriott so people can go into their training schemes? OR link up with the people here starting the watersports place in Trellis?
    What about apprenticeship schemes here? There are so many better opportunities here that could be aimed at all and not just the top 10% of the class.

  12. Confused says:


  13. Be honest says:

    Truth be told , if they have a collage degree they are considered over educated for the position and if they don’t have college degree they are told that they don’t meet the qualifications. It is sad ! Seems as though the locals these days are just for voting purposes these days.

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