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Dec 15, 2015

BTEC Hosts Joint Certificate Ceremony

Twenty-seven persons have completed courses in home care giving and wait staff and are ready to enter the workforce. Their training was held at the ITVET and was organized by numerous agencies including PAHO, the Ministry of Health and BERT. Duane Moody was present for the ceremony and has this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Since its inception, approximately five hundred persons have graduated from the Belize Training and Employment Centre, BTEC. Today, a cohort of twenty-seven persons was issued certificates of completion after approximately two months of intense training. The trainings were in two very distinct job descriptions—home health care giving and a five star wait staff for the hospitality industry.


Vanessa Johnson

Vanessa Johnson, Training and Recruitment Officer, BTEC

“Our mission here at BTEC is to provide industry specific training. So one of the industries we tackled was the wait staff, so the hospitality industry and the other was the healthcare with these home healthcare givers that we graduated. Our aim is to provide confident, self-sufficient individuals who can compete in the marketplace. We understand that some of these people just need these additional—whether it is soft skills or technical skills to just fine-tune their capabilities so that is where BTEC tries to step in.”


It was held in collaboration with PAHO/WHO, the Ministry of Health, the National Council on Aging, and with Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly as well as the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT). PAHO/WHO Representative, Doctor Luis Roberto Escoto spoke of the importance of having well-trained healthcare professionals.


Luis Roberto Escoto

Dr. Luis Roberto Escoto, PAHO/WHO Representative

“This event is a very fundamental step in preparing human resource with skills to take care of person who need health care. This becomes very important for many reasons; however, a significant research is because the population about sixty-five years has been growing in Belize over the recent years. This itself is a result of improved healthcare. At the same time, when interventions are put in place to reduce mortality, many times this results in the need to have long term care.”


While the health caregiver trainees had to do internship at various institutions, the wait staff showed off their skills today at the award ceremonies held today.


Shawna Williams

Shawna Williams, Home Health Caregiver Trainee

“It began with eighteen of us and then it was fourteen—fourteen magnificent ladies that were tested and also amazed each other with personal experiences. It was eye opening. It helped prepare us for giving care to the elderly and with patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Much thanks to BERT that gave a very intense educating training and experience and the other amazing visitors that we had.”


Neidie Aguilar, Wait Staff Trainee

“To learn how to do the stuff…especially when it came to doing the design with the napkins, it was hard for some of us but by the end of the week, we all learned how to do it.”


Neidie Aguilar

One of the wait staff trainees has already been hired by the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. According to Training and Recruitment Officer, Vanessa Johnson, the vision is for BTEC to become an employment agency to meet the human resources demands of the various markets.


Vanessa Johnson

“Yesterday at the very end of any of our trainings, we actually do mock interview sessions with potential employers. So while employment is not a guarantee, but I mean we help them network. These people can say wow I like him and if for future reference when a vacancy arises, we are still there. We hold their names and database and we are proud to say that actually one of the participants was hired yesterday.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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