The establishment of the CARICOM Digital Skills Task Force was endorsed at the Twenty-Fifth Special Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) held on 17 November 2020.
The CARICOM Digital Skills Task Force was launched on 15 September 2021 and held its Inaugural Meeting on the same date. The members of the Task Force are comprised of CARICOM Member States, and regional and International entities, and the work will be conducted under the chairmanship of Dr. Barbara Reynolds and Mr. Carlton Samuels – Cochairs of the Digital Skills Task Force.
The Task Force will work for one (1) year, in the first instance, to:
- review existing online course offerings which can be used by the Region to support the need for technical skills and certification;
- identify specific institutions offering courses which can prove beneficial to CARICOM;
- receive and review information from Member States and identify any best practices;
- also identify, for adoption by the Region, core (skills competencies) which can be pursued at the primary, secondary, university and workforce levels and later lead to certification, including that of the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ);
- determine the elements of a Digital Skills Strategy for CARICOM;
- develop a project proposal to support the roll-out of a Digital Skills programme beginning in 2022; and
- provide a report for consideration of the COHSOD and the COTED – ICT by 30 September 2021;
The Digital Skills Task Force is anticipated to address the following issues:
- Need for enhanced efforts to help more CARICOM citizens reap the benefits of digital transformation, digital and other skills, and for transformation in how we think about learning and engendering skills;
- Addressing the challenges of youth and other unemployment, skills mismatch and developing 21st century skills, transitioning to always-on ‘available everywhere’ skills-based education and employment infrastructure;
- Need for policy makers to collaborate and co-ordinate (across government and with private sector), to advance a new agenda to accelerate the future of learning and one that empowers people with the resources and tools they need to improve their lives; and
- Identifying the skills development needs for priority sectors.