Grenada’s Prime Minister Welcomes Launch Of CARICOM Task Force

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PR – Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable Keith  Mitchell, has welcomed the launch of the CARICOM Digital Skills Task Force, which is  intended to coordinate the Caribbean Community’s approach to developing and harnessing the digital skills of Caribbean nationals, ensuring greater collaboration and  innovation. 

The task force which has two co-chairs at the helm, will also help promote awareness of  digital skills and provide technical guidance on skills development. 

Dr. Mitchell, who is also the Lead Head for Science and Technology, including ICT in the  CARICOM Quasi Cabinet, said the work of the task force is vitally important to what is  envisioned as a ‘human-centered, sustainable and more prosperous digital future’. 

Identifying the desire for a whole-of-CARICOM approach, Dr. Mitchell underscored the  need to “make it possible for our citizens, our young people in particular, to gain the digital  skills they need to navigate and succeed in today’s digital economy.” The goal he said, is  to “build a CARICOM digital future where no one is left behind”. 

The Prime Minister noted that the increased reliance on technology brought about by the  COVID-19 pandemic, has necessitated up-skilling among the region’s people.  

He said, “Digital Skills are required across the board, from agriculture to creative  industries, defence to hospitality, transport and tourism– all sectors are reporting the need  for digital skills. Therefore, to build and foster the CARICOM digital economy, we must  embrace the role of technology and have a digital workforce.” 

Dr. Mitchell noted too that while today’s youth may be more competent in terms of digital  skills, this is not enough.

He said, “Young people today have a much higher level of education regarding digital  skills and competences. While they are often considered “digital natives”, the reality is  that the majority do not possess job-relevant digital skills. As a result, jobs requiring Cloud  computing, artificial intelligence, mobile app development are going unfilled. We need to  change that reality.”  

The Grenadian leader opined that the digital transformation taking place will radically  transform regional economies and affect how people live and work.  

He cited a need for CARICOM to dramatically advance digital skills for the workforce,  particularly for low-skilled workers who are likely to be vulnerable to job loss.  

At Wednesday’s launch, Dr. Mitchell acknowledged the overall progress being made by  the region in the strategic use of digital technologies and provided an update on digital  transformation in Grenada. 

He spoke of Government fast-tracking its digital transformation agenda to create a more  citizen-centric public service that is capable of delivering more online services. This  initiative he explained is strategically aligned with a plan to improve digital literacy among  citizens, which would allow them to better capitalise on the improved service delivery  platforms.