Steel Bending | Barbados Vocational Training Board

Apprenticeship Programme

The Apprenticeship Programme is a formalised system of on-the-job training and is one of the most successful ways of training. It is dual in nature providing practical on-the-job training and theoretical training on a day release basis at an approved academic institution.

This allows the apprentice to learn skills and earn as they learn with practical, properly supervised, on-the-job training in occupational areas which require a high degree of skill and knowledge. The aim of the programme is to train persons to the level of competence required by industry.

Who can become an Apprentice?

The applicant must be at least sixteen (16) years and have completed nine years of formal education.

How to become an Apprentice.

a) Identify an employer who agrees to train you in your chosen trade, or request assistance from the Barbados Vocational Training Board (BVTB) in finding a suitable employer.

b) Have the employer contact the Board to make arrangements to have a contract drawn up. This contract outlines the responsibilities of the employer and the apprentice.

Duration of the Programme

The apprenticeship period is normally three (3) years. However, apprentices may be granted credits for previous training or qualifications at the discretion of the Director.


On successful completion of the Apprenticeship Programme the graduate will be awarded a Certificate of Apprenticeship.

Wages paid to the Apprentice

Apprentices earn no less than 45%, 55% and 75% of a journeyman's pay in the first, second, and third years respectively.

Reimbursement of Wages

The Barbados Vocational Training Board subsidises the wages of apprentices by reimbursing the employer in the following manner:

For a 1st year apprentice - 50% of pay
For a 2nd year apprentice - 40% of pay
For a 3rd year apprentice - 25% of pay

Download the Apprenticeship Handbook here.