Education considered a key economic booster for St. Kitts and Nevis

(SKNIS): Speaking at the 2016 National Consultation on the Economy on Wednesday, September 28, Jose Rosa, President of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (CIC), said that a very important pillar economic development in the Federation is education, which must be given special attention.

“Education and skill level of our labour force are vital to sustain this economy. The educational system that creates vocational programmes, preparing students for engagement in industry sectors needs to make sure it is aligned with the needs of the private sector,” said President Rosa. “Education impacts the expansion of manufacturing; the level of customer services; the quality of technical repairs and maintenance; and it impacts community development.”

The President of the CIC noted that the education and skills training needs to meet the actual job environment.

“We have to make sure that the graduated student’s skills are fully utilized. The traditional conversation at the time to create the curriculum, which usually only includes policy makers needs to be revisited,” he said. “The discussion, preparation and revision of the curriculum should include the inputs of a more diverse group of stakeholders. That will ensure that the discussion include capacity of the system to deliver the required results and identification of the levels of certification required to build confidence of competency within the various skill levels. It will improve the readiness of the new workers, reducing the training time and meeting the expectations of the stakeholders, redounding in a resilient economy.”

He explained that more intense conversation needs to take place in order to determine other factors that should be put in place to effect real growth beyond skills training. Some suggestions he made were conversations surrounding public infrastructure, particularly energy and water, finance, manufacturing, agriculture and technology.

President Rosa stated that public-private sector conversation can no longer be a theoretical concept, instead, the conversations must be a fixed mechanism in the machinery of all sectors. “It has to be a conversation that we establish goals together with clear deliveries and implementation dates,” he said.

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