Kingston, Jamaica: A further step to develop the educational and entrepreneurial capacity of Jamaicans was made with the recent signing of an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a ceremony held on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 in the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) Boardroom in New Kingston. Signing on behalf of JAMPRO, was Executive Director, Ms. Diane Edwards, and on behalf of The UWI Open Campus, Principal, Dr. Luz Longsworth. Several key persons from both organisations were on hand to witness the event.
The new MOU between The UWI Open Campus and JAMPRO will facilitate programmes aimed at realising the full potential of Jamaican businesses through online training. Through this Agreement, the UWI Open Campus and JAMPRO will collaborate on the execution of capacity development programmes for JAMPRO’s direct clients and other business interests. The MOU outlines the roles of both entities including UWI Open Campus’ commitment to assist JAMPRO in planning, developing and delivering programmes and courses for its clientele, as well as developing a learning management system that will engage more people and enable them to access training and education from locations in and outside of Jamaica.
In opening remarks, Ms. Edwards stated that the MOU came about after meeting with Dr. Longsworth on a separate occasion and their discussions turned to the need for more business literacy in Jamaica, especially for small and medium enterprises (SME) that were not formally trained in doing business. Although JAMPRO has traditionally held training workshops on how to do buisness, she said she kept wondering how they could expand the number of people within the SME community in Jamaica to have more access to professionalism to help expand their businesses through more bankable business plans. She is optimistic that the new alliance will garner more training opportunities for JAMPRO’s existing step-by-step workshops/modules/courses through the Open Campus’s ability to disseminate this information online and at face-to-face facilities across Jamaica.
Principal of The UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth, assured Ms. Edwards and the JAMPRO team, that the Campus was ready to offer its own technical expertise to support online training modules. According to Dr. Longsworth, she was excited that this new alliance will support more training business opportunities in Jamaica at all eleven Open Campus sites across Jamaica, and projects that this new agreement with JAMPRO may allow the training of at least one thousand persons in the first year. Dr. Longsworth also expressed the hope that this agreement will be replicated as a model across the Caribbean for community development and training. “We hope that in moving forward, the Open Campus uses this collaboration model to work with other trade promotion organisations across the region, where we have many local sites, to allow for the transformation of economies through our business university approach. This effort can expand access for the accelerated success of SME’s through engaging, empowering and training people through our many modalities.”
The agreement with JAMPRO came into effect on January 19, 2016 for an initial period of two (2) years.
Photo Caption: Principal of The UWI Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth (seated left) and Executive Director of JAMPRO, Ms. Diane Edwards (seated right), sign the MOU for the new alliance between both organisations for educational training services in business for SMEs across Jamaica. Witnessing the occasion are staff members from both organisations.