TURKEYEN, Greater Georgetown, Guyana (CARICOM) — The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies (CANTA) will formally launch the CARICOM Regional TVET Strategy for Workforce Development and Economic Competitiveness on Monday, September 22, 2014, at the Hilton Hotel, Trinidad and Tobago.
With funding from the Government of Canada, the Strategy was developed after extensive consultations with more than 350 stakeholders in CARICOM Member States. It was approved by the Council for Human and Social Development at its 24th meeting (which focused on Education) and endorsed at the Council’s 26th meeting (which focussed on Labour). The Strategy is now guiding action plans in member states as they implement the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and strengthen delivery of Technical Vocational Education and Training.
CARICOM approved its Community Strategic Plan (2015-2019), at the 35th Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government in July 2014. Identified among the areas for priority focus over the next five years are the accelerated implementation of the CSME, building competitiveness and unleashing key economic drivers to transition to growth, and to generate employment and the development of human capital.
CARICOM Secretariat Assistant Secretary General for Human and Social Development, Dr Douglas Slater says that “the new Strategy establishes the pivotal importance of this Region’s human capital as we seek to forge a viable Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), with the free movement of skilled and certified citizens – workers within the market place. It provides a framework for guiding Member States in the development of the critical skills needed to attract and sustain decent job-creation from foreign and domestic investments, given the imperative of developing a highly skilled workforce.”
Dr. Slater will join CANTA Chair, Dr. Wayne Wesley, Executive Director of Jamaica’s HEART Trust, in welcoming delegates from the private sector, education, labour, and development agencies to the launch. “CANTA recognizes the importance of this Strategy in guiding TVET apex bodies and policy makers as they introduce technical training throughout the education system and certify skilled workers with the CVQ, said Dr. Wesley. We are pleased to have developed the policy and to work on behalf of member agencies to support its implementation, he added.
Both the development of the Strategy and the launch were supported by the CARICOM Education for Employment Program (C-EFE), launched in March 2012, and delivered in partnership with the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies (CANTA) and the Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions (ACTI).
Delivered by Colleges and Institutes Canada, key C-EFE activities to date have included sponsoring the development of the Strategy, working with ACTI to develop a leadership program for managers of institutions delivering skills training, and the establishment of 16 institutional partnerships between Canadian and Caribbean institutions. The program is active in twelve countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
The C-EFE program is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Canada. Canadian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Gerald Latulippe, will bring greetings from the Government of Canada to the launch attendees.