CARICOM Education for Employment Program
The CARICOM Education for Employment Program (C-EFE) is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). The program supports economic development in the Caribbean region through strengthening of its technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system. It supports education and training institutions and national training agencies (NTAs) to become more responsive, applied, demand-driven; with a goal to provide learners with the skills required by the labour market.
The ultimate outcome of C-EFE is “increased economic growth due to a move competitive, productive and gender equitable workforce in the Caribbean.” The Program was co-designed by key Caribbean individuals involved in the TVET sector, Association of Community Colleges Canada (ACCC) and DFATD.
Increased economic growth will be achieved through strengthened regional capacity to coordinate, promote, and conduct quality assurance for demand-driven TVET programming and workforce certification, with a focus on developing the capacity of the NTAs throughout the region to provide occupational standards and worker certification; promoting TVET as a viable career option; and, introducing career guidance to support citizens in making better career choices.
The partnership will work towards increased employment of TVET graduates in targeted, demand-driven programming, in addition to revising and harmonizing Labour Market Information Systems (LMS) across the region; strengthening relationships between industry and education; and developing a Vocational Training Information System (VTIS) to collect and manage TVET program information on a regional basis. The Education for Employment (EFE) program also identifies capacity building of instructors in designing and delivering Competency Based Education Training (CBET) curriculum as a program output.
Dominica State College (DSC) strives to be recognized as a “premier institution of higher learning, committed to excellence and responsive to the needs of stakeholders, and to the social, spiritual and economic challenges which face the Dominican society in the global environment.” With that, DSC recently partnered with Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture and the University of Guelph Kemptville Campus. The Partnership was recently awarded funding under the CARICOM Education for Employment Program (C-EFE) projects.
The Ministry of Agriculture in Dominica and the CARICOM Secretariat recognize that agriculture is a key sector for Dominica’s economic development. Agriculture is the single most important private sector activity in Dominica in terms of GDP contribution, number of persons employed, domestic food and nutrition security, sustenance of rural livelihoods and generation of foreign exchange earnings. The Partnership responds to the Ministry of Agriculture’s priority to address the current decline of agricultural production by enhancing agricultural productivity and competitiveness, and commitment to provide support to key institutions within the sector, including institutions that educate and train current and future farmers.
The C-EFE is providing an excellent opportunity to establish Agriculture Business Management to increase employment opportunities for youth and women, ignite the spirit of enthusiasm and the drive of entrepreneurism, and meet the needs of farmers, government and all other stakeholders in the agricultural sector in Dominica. The Partnership believes that the program has the potential to support entrepreneurism and provide long term sustainable employment opportunities for students upon graduation.
ST. KITTS and NEVIS
Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC) was established in 1988 and offers a range of programs to approximately 1200 students. It strives to “foster the development of responsible, self-sufficient citizens by delivering a range of academic, professional and vocational courses and programmes that reflect the high values and standards and which prepare students to make lifelong contributions to their communities.” With that, CFBC recently partnered with Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture and the Nova Scotia Community College. The Partnership was awarded funding under the C-EFE projects.
Despite the historic fertility of the land, the agricultural system has failed to generate a reliable food supply in St. Kitts-Nevis. Food imports have been increasing while exports of agricultural products have been decreasing and indeed have plummeted following the closure of the major sugar factory in 2005. At the same time, agricultural production for local consumption has also been decreasing.
Concurrently, as the federation works to make the transition to a post-sugar economy, youth unemployment continues to worsen with more than 25% of 18-30 year olds having little or no work. In itself, this statistic is a major problem, particularly as unemployment is a contributing factor to the violence that puts youths at risk, and poses a potential threat to the tourism sector. Youth unemployment also bodes ill for the future and underscores the need to think and act in creative and entrepreneurial ways to generate more employment opportunities for young people.
The Partnership will work to ensure that agriculture, although burdened by the factors mentioned above, and traditionally perceived by a stigma of menial, low-paying and hard labour, will make a comeback in St. Kitts and Nevis in order to ensure food security and economic viability. By outfitting students with knowledge of agricultural science, practical applications of that science, and business fundamentals, the Partnership will create a cadre of young people able to turn emerging agricultural opportunities into profitable livelihoods through entrepreneurship.
- University of Guelph, Kemptville Campus
- Nova Scotia Community College
- Dominica State College
- Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College
The CARICOM Education for Employment Program (C-EFE) is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and administered by the Association of Community Colleges Canada (ACCC).