Skills and Employability
The rapid technological changes in the workplace and the demand for a flexible, and skilled workforce in all sectors of the economy, underscore the need for continuing education and training for workers to remain competitive in a global economy. Employers are demanding that workers for the 21st century must possess the knowledge, technical skills, and “soft-skills” to function effectively and be competitive in the workplace. To attain this level of competitiveness, workers must be lifelong learners who will continue to increase their knowledge and update their skills, for upward mobility in the workplace. These are essential to making people employable, gaining access to decent work, and to staying out of poverty.
Skills development and employability are priorities for our region. Therefore, access to education and training for relevant skills development should be made available to all citizens of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). To this end, training agencies and educational institutions must use available delivery methodologies, including the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to reach all its citizens, with special priority given to persons with disabilities.
The International Labour Organization's work in this region continues to focus on:
- building the capacities of the national training agencies, and technical and vocational training institutions, through technical advice and support on curriculum review;
- delivery of education and training through competency-based education and training (CBET), quality assurance management of TVET, inclusive vocational education and training, the use of ICT and programme evaluation; and
- skills development policies in line with the ILO Recommendation concerning Human Resources Development: Education, Training and Lifelong Learning, 2004 (No. 195), the Decent Work Agenda, and the CARICOM Regional Strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
In the recent past, the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean has provided technical advice, training, and workshops to educational institutions, training agencies and other constituents in the region. These have included:
- the Regional Training Workshop for TVET and training practitioners on applying Information and Communication Technology for training;
- continuing to provide technical advice to the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies;
- the Tripartite Training of Trainers Workshop on Assisting Persons with Disabilities in Finding Employment;
- the promotion and protection of rights of persons with disabilities in education, training and employment;
- the publishing of two guides "Assisting disabled persons in finding employment - A Practical Guide" and "Placement of Job-seekers with disabilities - Elements of an Effective Service" to strengthen placement services and improve opportunities for job seekers with disabilities throughout the Caribbean region. As a companion to the guides, a video "Ability Caribbean" was also produced;
- facilitating the development of the Inter-American Centre for knowledge Development in Vocational Training (CINTERFOR) English language website;
- technical workshops on strengthening national vocational training policies, quality assurance in the management of TVET institutions, and curriculum development in technical and vocational education and training;
- technical workshop on strengthening the capacities of instructors to implement entrepreneurial skills training in the TVET curriculum;
- workshop on Integrating Community-Based Training; and
- the provision of technical advisory services in the development of national training policies.