October 14, 2021
The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) recently recognized three organizations for their commitment to the internship program over the past five years.
Electro Telecoms, Security Depot and the Ministry of Education were honoured for the integral role they play in making the transition from the classroom to the work environment as smooth as possible for BTVI students.
Representing Phil Wilson, owner of Security Depot, was Website and Social Media Manager, Jabez Paul. Security Depot hosts Electronics and Information Technology (IT) interns. Receiving the award on behalf of the Human Resources department of the Ministry of Education Technical and Vocational Training was Office Manager II, Linda Johnson; the ministry’s HR department accepts the lion share of BTVI’s Office Assistant and HR interns. Also acknowledged was Electro Telecoms, owned by Paul Smith, who was unable to attend the intimate ceremony. Some of BTVI’s IT, Electrical Installation, Electronics and Office Assistant students intern at his company. According to BTVI’s Dean of Student Affairs, Racquel Bethel, the internship plays a dual role. “It allows industry partners to put a stamp of approval on the competencies of the students, therefore proving that BTVI is living out its mission. Also, students gain invaluable work experience,” said Ms. Bethel.
“We need partners like you. We can’t do it without you. You three stand out. You have been consistent,” she added.
According to Ms. Bethel, 95% of the institution’s programs require students to intern. Each intern works for 40 hours, amounting to 160 hours - a requirement for graduation. Some programs require students to complete two intern placements.
BTVI has 175 vendors it partners with and approximately 75 students intern per semester. At one point, a student interned at Morton Salt in Inagua and in recent years, BTVI facilitated its first international internship at US-based Storm Team Construction. Besides networking opportunities, some students have been able to secure jobs with the vendors immediately following internships.
Additionally, bringing brief remarks was BTVI’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Linda Davis, who expressed her pleasure with the partnerships and the fact that the institution has decided to recognize the top tier among intern vendors.
“I am delighted to thank you. Out of all of the partners, for you to stand out, that is really good and should say something. Internships are key. You can do all the theory, but if you do not apply it, it amounts to nothing,” said Dr. Davis.
In responding, Ms. Johnson expressed gratitude for the recognition, noting that the ministry’s HR team is rarely recognized for what they do; nevertheless, she said they continue to welcome the interns who are of tremendous assistance to the small unit.
Mr. Paul added that in the short time he has worked at Security Depot, he has received much assistance from BTVI’s IT interns in website construction and maintenance. Responding, Chair of BTVI’s IT department, Kevin McCartney, said he was pleased to hear this, particularly as the IT team ensures its students and interns are trained at high standards, gaining international certifications such as Cisco and CompTIA.
Meanwhile, Chair of Electronics and Media Technology, Delano Archer spoke to the power of BTVI’s partnerships with internship vendors.
“I’ve always been an advocate of industry and corporate involvement at the institution. I see the value in it. We have tremendously progressed our relationship. What we are doing here is what we need in the country. We are producing young people who are civil citizens. It brings value to what we do and no matter the hurdles, it keeps me going. It is something that drives me,” said Mr. Archer.
Coordinator of BTVI’s internship program, Michael Smith, added that the feedback he receives from industry, “Proves that what we generate is par excellence.”