ICT Skills Development Programme
The Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL) has identified the Information Communication Telecommunication (ICT) Industry as one of the main revenue earners since the decline in agriculture, in particular bananas and has developed a National ICT Strategy which seeks to increase access to regional broadband networks and advance the development of an ICT-enabled services industry in Saint Lucia. As such, the GOSL has sought funding from the World Bank for the implementation of the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP). The development objective of CARCIP is to increase access to regional broadband networks and advance the development of an ICT-enabled services industry in the Caribbean Region.
Component 2 of CARCIP namely, ICT Led Innovation focuses on St. Lucia's strategy to position itself as a formidable destination for IT and IT-Enabled Services (ITES) through the provision of a Business Incubator Grant to SME(s) for technology based business development projects and a Training Grant for human capacity building and skills certification programs. It is expected that this component will have impact at the micro-level in the following: (i) increased revenue from IT/ITES industry; (ii) job creation; (iii) improved skills; and (iv) increased productivity and competitiveness.
The capacity building and skills certification aspect of Component 2 will be achieved through the implementation of a Training Programme described in this manual to be financed by a Training Grant of approximately 1.5 million Eastern Caribbean dollars. The funds will support on-going efforts by Government to prepare the youth for the job market. The programme will provide resources to train and certify youth on IT-related skills with regionally harmonized curricula (e.g. software/apps development, database management, web development etc) and possibly at the international level. The Training Programme will also complement the goals of the CARCIP Business Incubation Grants Programme as it will allow for ICT training and certification of the employees of local SME(s).
CARCIP will leverage support from the Ministry of Education and Human Resources and Development through the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Unit for the implementation of the training program based on the framework approved by CARICOM. In addition, the Training Programme will be implemented in partnership with the private sector to ensure a market-driven approach that can generate jobs in this new industry.
To this end, a skills assessment was undertaken by CARCIP to determine the gap between the supply and demand of ICT skills so as to better position Saint Lucia as the destination of choice for IT and ITES Business. The results of which have been used to develop a priority list for ICT training and skills development.