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May 17, 2022

Tubal Vocational Institute Offering Free Apprenticeship Courses

Established in 2001, the Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute in Ladyville has been preparing Belize’s youths to make a living marketing a trade that they learn at the school. Now the founders of the institution, husband and wife, Lyndon and Lavern Bailey, are doing a selfless deed – offering full scholarships, each worth seven hundred dollars, to all youths who want to learn a trade but can’t pay for it. News Five’s Marion Ali visited the institute today to find out how that possible and filed the following story.


Marion Ali, Reporting

You might hear about scholarships being offered for certain courses in education almost every day, but there are hardly enough learning institutions that go out and seek potential youth apprentices who would otherwise not have the means to pay, and encourage those youths to sign up for a scholarship. That is exactly what the Tubal Trade and Vocational Institute in Ladyville is doing in these hard times for parents and their teenage sons and daughters who want to learn a trade, be it in computer repair, electrical work, cabinet making, catering and hospitality, or automotive repair. Founder of the institute, Lyndon Bailey, told News Five that he had already foreseen this day would come and he prepared himself for it, so that he could be in a position to offer the free vocational courses to who cannot afford to pay for their training.


Lyndon Bailey

Lyndon Bailey, Founder, Tubal Vocational Institute, Ladyville

“I knew from long time (ago) that it was going to come to this – where the students will not be able to enter the school if they don’t have finance, so we went the extra mile and we said you know what, we will take them in and afterwards we will see how we can find scholarships for these students.”


Bailey explained that the institution is run on a subvention from the government, on tuition that is collected from those who can pay, and from monies he makes when he sells houses built by the school’s masonry class.


Lyndon Bailey

“I’m a building contractor. We build houses and we sell them. If you look at the back, we have houses and because I believe in young people, I’m there with them to hold up this school. Wherever the school short, I come in. That’s where I come in. I put in about fifty thousand.”


The man who goes hunting for students to join the institute is the school’s counselor and Bible teacher, Linsford Garbutt.


Linsford Garbutt

Linsford Garbutt, Counselor, Tubal Trade & Vocational Institute

“I would actually go house to house and talk to families and then I go on the basketball court. You know that’s where you’ll meet a bunch of young people hanging out and you would be surprised to find out half of those that are on the basketball court are not in school. And I let them know what we are planning for them and if they are interested, if they are serious about having a career or having something that you can be independent, then you know, yeah, speaking in regards to the trade and offering them the different trades that are being offered at the school here, mein I was so surprised that some of these young men welcomed that. They say with me, they talked with me and they called up their mom and dad and said “guess what, this is happening.”


The vocational institute is also heading in a new direction, its founder shared with us.


Lyndon Bailey

“We’re going to teach them how to operate heavy equipment. That is one. We’re going to teach them how to manufacture things because we build houses and most of the time we can use these young people to prepare all the doors. You have to sand them, make them ready so that when we install them in the houses they are ready. So we can use these young people to do these sort of works.”


The students who leave the two-year course are assisted with finding jobs that they can market their trade. The ones we spoke with had ambitious plans with the training they are receiving.


Michael Garbutt, Enrolled in Electrical Course

“If it wasn’t for this school, I basically would dad eh home di do nothing. I find it very good because I am not wasting time.”


Marion Ali

“Okay, so you’ll be here for two years studying this trade. What happens after that?”


Michael Garbutt

“Well I definitely will find a job after because from a very young age I wanted to be an electrician.”


Marion Ali

“What do you cook?”


Darisha Quilter

Darisha Quilter, Catering and Hospitality

“Chicken, pastries, rice, cupcakes, a lot of stuff, meat pies.”


Marion Ali

“And then when you leave here what’s your plan?”


Darisha Quilter

“To help my family grow their business. They actually have a restaurant.”


Israel Garbutt

Israel Garbutt, Enrolled in Catering Course

“I would like to open up a vegan restaurant in Belize so that Belizeans can come and eat healthier other than the regular fried chicken and what’s not. You know Belizeans like dehn fry chicken.”


Kacey Armstrong

Kacey Armstrong , Enrolled in Catering and Hospitality

“When I reach home I could literally seh Ma, I di come home and I wa mek a lee cake fi yoh fi yoh birthday or something. Soh that wa be like a good (gesturing)”


And the food that these young talents prepare daily and for special occasions helps to generate funds to keep their doors open.


Lavern Bailey

Lavern Bailey, Co-founder, Tubal Vocational Institute, Ladyville

“We have the NEMO office and the Agriculture office next door so the workers would come and buy food as well as the construction workers from Mr. Bailey’s construction.”


Marion Ali

“And from what these students make you also do catering?”


Lavern Bailey

“Yes we do. We did the catering for Ladyville Highlights wedding, we did for parents night for Canaan High School.”


Marion Ali

“So you do for special occasions but what does the menu look like?”


Lavern Bailey

“Whatever they order. Sometimes they would order lamb or lasagna, turkey dinner, yes.”


Marion Ali

“Whatever they order, these students can make it?”


Lavern Bailey

“Yes, they can make it.”


Marion Ali for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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