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Where does TCI stand with Future jobs of interest vs Demand? 



Ed Forbes,

Concerned citizen of Grand Turk 


In an emerging market and a rapid changing environment like the Turks and Caicos Islands, selecting and preparing our students for future jobs is a critical step in nation building.

As the country grows and develops, some jobs will be threatened by redundancy, whilst others will grow rapidly. We have seen it with the outsourcing of our tourism sector. If the right investments were made in our people within that department, despite the changes, it may have resulted in less turnovers.

What have we learned from this?

Whilst the rapid growth holds great promises, it will pose some major challenges requiring proactive adaptation by corporations, governments and individuals if not prepared.

With that being said, preparing and anticipating for current and future transition is therefore critical. The education department and the approving scholarship board will have to stimulate deeper thinking about how government and high level management can navigate these unforeseen changes.

It was refreshing to see the diversity in curriculum with the recent prestigious scholarships awards in TCI. Furthermore, hats off to this administration for moving forward with advancing the TCICC with the NCCER’s seal of approval.

This in itself was an amazing achievement not only for the country, but especially for families with limited disposable income to further their children’s education abroad.

It would also be advantageous for the government, key stakeholders and the education department to work in concert on these programs. This will help to identify some of the greatest needs, desires and qualifications of current jobseekers, versus the demands of up and coming jobs and business opportunities.

As we navigate the challenges of our time in such a changing society, it is crucial to remember that although the government has a responsibility to provide available resources to their citizens, parents also have a role to play.

Government support does not negate parental responsibilities of helping to nurture and plan their children’s future.

Finding effective ways to help bridge the skills gap will also be crucial in charting the country’s future.

Has there ever been a labour market survey or a skill gap analysis conducted? This will help to better link the types of scholarships being awarded for jobs of the future.

Many developed countries are using empirical data in the form of charts and graphs to help determine skills gaps and future needs. These charts can also be used to demonstrate current job placements versus future job growth and opportunities.

As the economy continues to grow and diversify, greater emphasis will also need to be placed on the scholarship approval process. This is in regards to not only catering to the students own areas of interest but what the country really needs in terms of supply and demand.

In order to map a future view of skill demand versus supply, what I believe needs to be done, is a comprehensive analysis to get a more accurate picture of the training and opportunity areas. Using empirical data from the number of outsourced consultancy jobs and medical specialty areas is a good start.

Once this is completed, resources will need to be put in place to up-skill those who are out of work to fill high priority employment gaps through certification programs.

With TCIG  E-government on the horizon, there will be a need for positions such as Data protection analysts, Cybersecurity etc. Furthermore, with FortisTCI plans to embark on solar energy in the twin islands and Salt Cay, this is a huge potential growth area where new jobs are anticipated across the skills spectrum.

Recently, there was a Facebook posting from the TCI RESEMBID Sustainable Energy Project, offering a free Solar class for anyone interested in this field. Albeit, the spaces were limited and advertisement short lived, these are the types of programs that need more exposure and encouragement, along with commitment from potential employers on job security.

As the country continues to move forward, Government annually awarded scholarships is an area that will need to be very selective and closely examined to help eliminate any unconscious biases.

This will enable many bright students from all walks of life to obtain education they may have never had access to otherwise. It’s also a way to attract and retain the best talent for the country.

Despite the fact that the country is steadily progressing, the national economy appears to be lagging in human capital development. This emphasizes the critical importance of developing the economy in tandem with education and human capital development to reap greater benefits.

Therefore, awarding scholarships in the right areas plays a very important role in developing local talent. It will contribute to the improvement of systems, practices, and policies within the work space and supports the wider socio-economic changes.

I’m finding that in certain critical positions, locals haven’t received the same level of investment opportunities impacting their ability to grow and scale the organizations they are helping to lead.

Strengthening the soft skill base of the national labour force will do just that, and will need to be placed on the front burner. This will help to prepare the next generation of leaders, who can bring innovative approaches that will help to transform some outdated systems and practices that currently exist as we know it.

Unfortunately, with the limited job market, it’s often a challenge for returning students to apply their skills and knowledge. It’s a complex situation, but this is where succession planning becomes vital to minimize gaps in leadership positions like we are seeing in our prison and policing departments.

Failure of our leaders to plan strategically, as technology advances and new jobs are created, we will continue to face recruitment challenges and talent shortages. Ultimately, it could lead to an increased reliance on work-permit holders.

We have a dynamic economy but we are training our folks to participate in it?

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Caribbean News

 Medical Council of Jamaica Announces more CME hours for Doctors



KINGSTON, September 19, 2023 (JIS) – Medical doctors will be required to complete two additional hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) specifically dedicated to mental health and wellness in order to renew their practising certificates come January 2024.

The Medical Council of Jamaica (MCJ) noted that this critical update forms part of its commitment to advancing the healthcare system and ensuring doctors are well-equipped to meet the prevailing mental health demands.

“This increase moves the total required CME hours from 20 to 22, enhancing doctors’ ability to address the mental health implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The decision to introduce these additional CME hours is driven by the Medical Council of Jamaica’s commitment to prioritise the well-being of both patients and healthcare professionals,” the MCJ stated.

The Council reasoned that COVID-19 has highlighted the pressing need for mental health support, with healthcare workers facing unprecedented challenges, experiencing increased stress and witnessing the emotional toll the pandemic has taken on patients.

To support doctors in meeting the new CME requirement, MCJ Registrar, Professor Howard Spencer, shared that the Council will provide access to a range of accredited providers and resources offering relevant mental health and wellness courses.

“The Medical Council of Jamaica encourages all doctors to proactively engage in these additional CME hours well in advance of the renewal deadline in early 2024, to ensure a seamless continuation of their practice,” he emphasised.

The Council added that the focus on mental health and wellness will empower doctors with the knowledge and skills to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to patients experiencing challenges in this area.

Commenting on the new requirement, Consultant Psychiatrist and Public Health Specialist, Dr. Earl Wright, underscored that the additional CME hours are a win-win for doctors.

“It’s not only enhancing the doctors’ care of the patient but doctors need to take care of themselves also. This will help to prevent doctor burnout. Doctors are sometimes under severe stress for long periods of time. So enhancing the doctors’ ability to take care of themselves, they’re also enhancing their ability to take care of all their patients,” he remarked.

For more information about the new CME requirement, visit

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Prime Minister Holness opens Maypen to Williamsfield Leg of Southern Coastal Highway



#Kingston, September 19, 2023 – The May Pen to Williamsfield leg of the Southern Coastal Highway Improvement Project (SCHIP) was officially opened by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, on Thursday (September 14).

The thoroughfare, which represents part A of the SCHIP, now significantly reduced travel time between the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and will offer a multitude of economic and social benefits to users.

Speaking during the segment’s opening ceremony, Prime Minister Holness hailed the development as “a step in improving the general quality of life for all Jamaicans”.

“[It is] a step in improving the productivity of all Jamaicans. You can easily measure the productivity gained of this road by the productivity lost in traffic, discomfort and the aggression it creates in driving on some of the other bad roads,” he said.

Mr. Holness noted that some of the anticipated benefits of the new roadway include connecting workers to jobs, improving the response time of the security forces, and improving and lowering the cost for delivering agricultural outputs to market.

“In so many ways, building your infrastructure improves well-being,” he emphasised.

The Prime Minister also announced that the highway’s usage will be at no cost to motorists until the end of the calendar year, on December 31, 2023. After this period, toll rates will be applied.

Mr. Holness further pointed out that the scope of work for the highway included a new four-lane bridge across the Rio Minho to increase the area’s resilience to weather events.

The project also features a two-year defects liability phase, the Prime Minister said, while noting that, “during this phase, the contractor will have to fix any project-related defects”.

The project was funded by a loan from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, with the contractors being China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

It was implemented by the National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited (NROCC), under the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation.

For his part, NROCC Managing Director, Stephen Edwards, described the highway’s opening as “a momentous occasion in infrastructure development in Jamaica”.

Dubbing the project as a “giant leap forward for the parishes of Clarendon and Manchester and for all Jamaicans”, Mr. Edwards informed that the contract’s implementation commenced in 2019.

He detailed that the development features a 23-kilometre four-lane highway with adiamond interchange and Florida-T at May Pen, a separated interchange at Toll Gate, an interchange at Melrose, four bridges, 17 concrete box crossings, upgrading of approximately five kilometres of roadway along the Melrose Bypass to a four-lane dual carriageway, a police post at Toll Gate, safety fences, concrete median barriers, and the installation and expansion of fibre optics.

“We believe… we have delivered a modern highway that the people of Jamaica can be proud of,” Mr. Edwards added.

Minister of Science, Energy, Telecommunications and Transport, Hon. Daryl Vaz, in his remarks, said the highway’s opening is “a pivotal junction in our nation’s transportation history”.

“This remarkable highway will undoubtedly reshape this side of the island and its network and elevate collective journeys towards progress. This occasion is also a testament to the dedication in providing safer roads and enhanced connectivity for all Jamaicans,” Mr. Vaz stated.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Everald Warmington, also spoke highly of the road development.

He expressed that the new leg of the country’s highway network represents “more than just concrete, steel and asphalt”.

“It signifies development, connectivity, and the promise of a brighter future for all those who traverse the south coast of this country,” Mr. Warmington said.

He added that a well-planned, efficient transportation network is the backbone of any thriving nation, as it connects people, fosters economic growth and enhances the quality of life for citizens.

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Caribbean News

Multi Pronged  Approach in St. Ann to Tackle Dengue



Montego Bay September 19 (JIS) – The St. Ann Health Department has adopted a multipronged approach in the fight against dengue fever as the parish reports an increase in suspected cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

Addressing the monthly meeting of the St Ann Municipal Corporation on September 14, Medical Officer of Health for St. Ann, Dr. Tamika Henry, said although the country is not currently in outbreak mode, the parish is on high alert due to the endemic nature of dengue in Jamaica.

She explained that the multipronged strategy includes surveillance, case management, health education, human resource reinforcement, larvicidal and adulticidal activities, source reduction, external stakeholder engagement, and continuous monitoring and evaluation.

Active and passive surveillance methods are being employed to detect suspected cases early. This involves healthcare personnel actively searching for symptoms at hospitals and health centres, ensuring prompt intervention when necessary.

“We have a nurse that is stationed at the hospital; she’s our hospital active surveillance nurse. She goes from ward to ward, as well as in the outpatient department, accident and emergency, looking to see if there’s anybody who matches the case definition for dengue because, of course, we want to pick up things very early,” Dr. Henry said.

She noted that the health department has bolstered its human resources, employing 26 permanent vector control workers across its five health districts.

To manage the situation effectively, high-risk communities have been identified and targeted for intervention by workers, including larvicidal activities aimed at mosquito breeding sites.

Dr. Henry outlined that health education and promotion efforts are widespread, involving various public health nurses, public health inspectors and community health aides.

“We have public health nurses going out. Public health inspectors are in their zonal areas on a day-to-day basis; they, too, do health education. We have our Community Health Aides, who have been doing house-to-house visits, reminding persons about searching and destroying,” she said.

Dr. Henry noted that the Ministry of Education and Youth is also engaged, with dengue lesson plans being implemented in schools.

“One of our age groups of concern is five to 14. So, we engage with them [Ministry] and they have again rolled out their dengue lesson plan in the schools, and the children are doing their search-and-destroy activity during their activity session,” she added.

Since the start of 2023, St. Ann has received 17 notifications of suspected dengue cases. One case has been confirmed that involves a 13-year-old male who presented with fever, headache, eye pain, and nausea.

Dr. Henry disclosed that nearly half of these cases, approximately 48 per cent, match the case definition for dengue, a significant increase compared to 2022.

In 2022, the parish had 10 reported cases with only one being confirmed as dengue fever.

“More males are being reported than females in 2023, and we recognise that there are two particular age groups of concern – 5 to 14 age group, that is our primary school going up to our high school, as well as our 24 to 44 age group,” Dr. Henry shared.

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