The competition never sleeps! In a developing country like Saint Lucia, with limited physical and financial resources, this reality is even more evident. While global competition continues to strengthen, in order to remain competitive, there is an increasing need to understand the factors that hinder national competitiveness and seek innovative ways to change the current landscape.
Since the formation of the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) in 2013, the Council and its Secretariat has focused on raising awareness on the concepts of productivity and competitiveness and encouraging the implementation of tools and methods which seek to bring about productivity improvements locally.
For the past two years, Productivity Awareness Week (PAW), the NCPC’s flagship activity which is held in October, has provided a much needed platform for the engagement of stakeholders within the public and private sectors, to discuss challenges, share knowledge and ideas, find practical solutions to St. Lucia’s productivity and competitiveness challenges and promote the ideals of productivity and competitiveness.
This year’s Productivity Awareness Week, which is slated for October 10th – 14th, will be observed under the theme, “Enhancing Competitiveness through Innovation.” The activities for the Week are intended to generate a greater consciousness of the notions of competitiveness and innovation and how they work together to create and promote the environment needed for greater competitiveness and sustainable economic growth. Some of the highlights for the week include:
- Conversation with Generation Z Feature: The role of the youth in the journey towards a more innovative and competitive Saint Lucia is undeniable. Similarly, the quality of education offered by our institutions and their ability to nurture critical and creative thinking in our students will directly impact this process. In an effort to begin the discussion on the way forward within the education sector, this twenty (20) minute feature examines the status quo while attempting to educate the populace on the thinking capacities/processes of young children and the benefits of nurturing their creative thinking process.
- Innovation in Education: The Secondary Schools Feature: In the past decade, the face of education has transformed drastically. A look at modern education landscape reveals a shift towards the implementation of more innovative practices and policies in schools worldwide. In some schools, innovation can be seen in the use of instructional technology in classrooms while in others this innovation is translated in the way schools are managed/organized. In enhancing the St. Lucia’s productivity and competitiveness, the NCPC has identified the youth as a crucial part of the process. This fifteen (15) minute feature will take a look at some of the innovative projects currently happening in Secondary Schools on island. More specifically, this piece will show how embracing innovation may bring about the changes that the education sector requires to continue to grow.
- Launch of the NCPC Audio-Visual Competition: Youth aged eleven (11) to eighteen (18) will be invited to submit audio-visual pieces which illustrate challenges being faced by their communities, innovative projects/actions being undertaken by business and individuals to improve on these challenges and their own view on ways in which these challenges can be addressed.
- Community Tourism Linkage Showcase: There is a wealth of untapped opportunities in the tourism sector. Notwithstanding, the participation of communities and entrepreneurs in capitalizing on the demands of the industry remains low. The showcase will explore the existing tourism linkages and value chains in the community of Soufriere by identifying gaps within the value chain that can be filled with innovative business ideas. The intention is that entrepreneurs will see these gaps as opportunities and can be inspired to create new products and services to fill them.
“We are very excited about this year’s Productivity Awareness Week programme,” said NCPC Executive Director, Fiona Hinkson. Over the past two years our focus was on raising awareness and educating on productivity. This year we have taken it step further by inviting Saint Lucians to do some introspection and to challenge the existing mindset and culture and to actively play their part in the change process. We are confident that our approach this year will help to create an environment where productivity and competitiveness are able to thrive.”
Preparations for the 3rd observance of Productivity Awareness Week are currently underway. The week will run from October 10th – 14th and interested parties are invited asked to visit the NCPC website (www.stluciancpc.org ), Facebook page (www.facebook.com/stluciancpc ) and WordPress blog (www.stluciancpc.org) or simple call us at 468-5576/71 for the full programme of activities and to find out how they can contribute to a more productive and competitive Saint Lucia.