By Jessy Leonce: Sections of Saint Lucia’s workforce displaced by effects of the COVID-19 pandemic may soon have a new avenue to reroute themselves to alternative in-demand careers.
The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College is preparing a suite of tailored short-term courses that will provide mature prospects with new marketable skills.
Principal, Dr. Keith Nurse says this new venture will be added to a list of other similar offerings under the college’s ongoing Lifelong Learning Programme and TVET initiative.
“What we want to do for those people who are displaced, whether from the tourism sector, or retail sector and others, is to create a process whereby we offer them certificates in a very packaged way. So, we have in mind for example, training for the blue economy, breaking down the skills you would need. So we start with an understanding of what the marketplace requires and then we build out those skills in four to five very well packaged training components.”
Dr. Nurse added that the certification obtained will carry credits transferable to future degree programmes.
“You will get what is called a Digital Certificate or Nano Degree. That Nano Degree is transferable so that you can now use it to come back to the college to do an associate degree or bachelor’s degree.”
This and other recent initiatives by the college are consistent with the thrust toward education innovation. In this vein the college will be hosting a “Thought Festival” dubbed Unthink on June 15, that will also commemorate the 30th anniversary of the passing of Sir Arthur Lewis.
The virtual event is aimed at propagating new thinking, idea creation and strategic action on the globalization and development agenda.
Dr. Nurse said: “It was really important to pull together a stellar cast of academics, intellectuals, thought-leaders, and business people from all around the world.”
The inaugural event, being held in honour of the life and legacy of Sir Arthur Lewis will have his work woven into the programme of keynote addresses and panels that will focus on areas including green or blue sustainable development as a solution for climate action, development of health equity beyond COVID-19, digital education, and industrial upgrading.