BUDDING entrepreneurs as well as unemployed persons are being thrown a tag-line to help them generate income amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
In an effort to help persons on the bread line earn a livelihood—the ‘Recover Saint Lucia’ venture is reaching out with innovative employment opportunities to help stem the tide of economic hardships being experienced globally.
The venture sets out to assimilate persons into the local workforce, working alongside established businesses; while gaining valuable business tips and job certification at the completion of a scheduled program.
Goretti Paul, chair-Economic Opportunity sub-committee spoke broadly concerning the National Apprenticeship Program and other employment prospects at last week’s launch of the ‘Recover Saint Lucia’ initiative.
“We will engage companies that can accommodate unemployed persons for internships or apprenticeship for the next few weeks,” said Paul.
She noted: “The aim is to get persons employed in the short term so they can generate some income for the next two to three months in the first instance.”
Paul said the group has also linked up with organisations such as the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC), Springboard (College), and Chamber Business Trust among other entities “to identify opportunities for collaboration …and how we can meaningfully contribute to the development of competencies in soft and technical skills for our unemployed and to ensure that participants get recognizable certification at the end.”
Hopefully, she added, at the end of the program “we will have an effective framework for a national human development program that will be sustained for the continued development and growth of our citizens.”
The Business Mentorship Program will allow for collaboration with business leaders that are competent in key areas, such as human resource development, marketing, finance, banking and other fields “to develop a program that provides mentorship and coaching to micro and small businesses.”
Paul explained, “The aim is to provide them with the required guidance and support to position their businesses for success and sustainability. The businesses that are currently struggling or need help in realigning to surviving the new normal will benefit tremendously from this program.”
A Virtual Market Space will also be implemented with support from various business persons and establishments to bring buyers and sellers together to conduct retail trade. Paul said: “The aim is to create more opportunities for partnerships and alliances to trigger economic activity.”
Commenting on the project, Dr. Adrian Augier, co-chair of the Communications Sub-Committee noted that the Apprenticeship Program has the potential to bring unemployed people together with employed persons. He added: “We can bring established businesses and emerging businesses together because there is still demand in the economy that is not being met.”
He said this program will allow for a transfer of skills from experienced persons to younger persons.
“There is a lot of positive energy that we can bring to bear and this a framework for doing it,” said Dr. Augier.
He said the intention is to undertake projects that can be supported now and be made sustainable, and which can be replicated in the long run.
More importantly, he added, “Any project that we support we will look to see how we can replicate it in other communities. So, find it, help to build it, strengthen it and replicate it.”