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US $3 million to address Critical Need for Training in the Region

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Monday, June 30, 2003 - Some three million US dollars is to be pumped into addressing the critical need for training in the region, via the USAID funded Caribbean Regional Intern/Scholarship Programme (CRISP).

The two year initiative, being administered by the Centre for Management Development of the University of the West Indies - Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, along with Aurora Associates International Inc and Aguirre International, will address human resource capacity deficiencies, support the goal of meeting international best practices in regional businesses and seek to strengthen the survival chances of small and medium sizes enterprises.

Doreen  Boyd

Doreen Boyd, CRISP Programme Co-ordinator

CRISP Programme Co-ordinator Doreen Boyd says the training is being done via a consortium of government, university and private sector partners, particularly in targeted areas that will enhance the competitiveness of the region. The programme she says seeks therefore to be responsive to public and private sector training needs, as well as assisting educational institutions in meeting those needs.

“We have targeted four main areas for which we are inviting people to apply for training,” said Boyd. The areas are information technology and telecommunications, knowledge based service industries, agri-business and financial services. “One would notice that these are not some of the traditional areas in which we have economic development. We usually have that in tourism and agriculture but the goal is to help governments who are interested in diversifying their economic based, to see if perhaps we as a region can move into some of the niche markets that exist,” exclaimed Boyd.

CRISP workshop

participants at one week workshop

The programme groups countries of the Caribbean Community with special focus initially on the OECS territories along with Barbados, who will take up two million of the three million dollars allocated. It will in year one target eighty persons, sixty of which will benefit from short-term programmes, fifteen from medium term, and five from programmes of one to two years duration and post-training support and follow-up.

The CRISP initiative was recently introduced to members of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture in the hopes of their taking advantage of the latest training opportunity for their staff.

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