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«Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011-2014 Ministry of Planning and the Economy October 2011 Table of Contents PREFACE BY THE MINISTER OF PLANNING AND ...»

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In relation to tertiary level education, one of the main issues is the relevance of this system to existing industry and economic needs. Statistics show that close to 40 per cent of University of the West Indies (UWI) graduates are either unemployed or underemployed with the unemployment rate of UWI graduates after one year being about 18 per cent. Due to the absence of a Labour Market Information System (LMIS), the mismatch between the current demand and supply of skills in the economy persists. This lack of absorptive capacity of the economy contributes to the outward migration of trained graduates to the developed countries to take advantage of more lucrative job opportunities, while severe shortages of those much needed skills exist in several critical areas in the domestic economy, including the Health Sector. There is also need to identify areas for investment which will in turn provide the direction for the

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To achieve greater synergies between the education and training systems and the labour market, in order to better realise and utilise our human capital potential, a more coordinated, structured and focused approach towards building human capital development is needed. The development of a Human Capital Development Committee comprising key stakeholders such as the Labour Movement, the Ministry of Planning and the Economy, the Ministry of Labour, Small and Micro Enterprise Development, the Economic Development Board, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education, the Ministry of Trade and Industry as well as employers; and employers’ institutions and business organizations will aid in this regard. A Human Capital Policy will also lend support to the needed structured approach.

Our training system possesses strong quality standards and awarding institutions. Industry specific training in key sectors also exist as well as affordable educational opportunities facilitated by Government support. However, as is the case with tertiary education, greater alignment with the needs of the economy has to be achieved. Mechanisms must also be put in place to provide opportunities for the professional development of educators, trainers and teachers.15 Additionally, there exists a small pool of experienced and certified instructors available nationally, which must be increased as continued skills shortages negatively impacts the development of our human capital.

To address the skills shortages, while simultaneously building our human capital through skills and knowledge transfer in needed areas, the forging of new partnerships and renewal of existing global partnerships will be pursued. This will be done through worker exchanges and internships as well as through the provision of incentives to attract experts and skilled workers to Trinidad and Tobago.

Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education, Strategic Plan 2011-2015

Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 90 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 The existing pool of skilled nationals who have migrated must also be utilised to further address skills shortages and build our human capital. Incentives to motivate these citizens to return (temporarily or permanently) to share their knowledge and expertise in building our country, must be developed. The first step in this process is to develop a skills base of these nationals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Communications will play a key role towards developing an action plan for implementing these measures. The graduating pool of approximately 5,000 students per year from the tertiary sector including returning national scholars (approximately 200 plus per year) will be treated as a key resource to attract knowledge investments.

The desire by citizens for lifelong learning must also be supported by employers, if our human capital is to be further built. Incentives to employers will be provided so that they will be encouraged to upgrade the skills of their employees in key development areas.


Government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to building human capital. The first aspect entails ensuring that the basic needs of citizens are met. The basic premise of this approach is that citizens are unable to develop and self actualise, if their primary needs such as being nourished, feeling safe and having adequate shelter are not met. Government’s approach,

therefore, involves:

1. Eradicating poverty and ensuring food security;

2. Ensuring personal safety;

3. Providing access to quality health care; and

4. Providing access to housing.

The second aspect of Government’s approach to building human capital is primarily based on improving the education and training systems. This approach entails the following strategies

and key actions:

Strategy: Implement Key Reforms within the Education System Reforms range from Early Childhood through to Tertiary level for example, in terms of the curricula; teaching methodologies, teacher training and literacy development. It also entails making seamless transitions throughout the education system and addressing the issue of

underperformance and school dropouts. Key measures include:

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Improve Administration of Education

• Address succession planning for teachers

• Improve networking and computerisation of Administration and MOE District Offices

• Establish Regional Authorities to coordinate, manage and improve performance of schools

• Strengthen the partnership between Government and denominational schools Curricular Reform

• Develop mental and physical health through extra-curricular activities

• Complete the revision of the primary school curriculum in the seven (7) subject areas to achieve articulation with the ECCE Curriculum

• Complete revision of the secondary school curriculum to give students more career options and a broader range of offerings and to strengthen their critical thinking skills and creativity Quality Teaching

• Provide training and certification of teachers at all levels

• Upgrade professional standards for teachers

• Establish an incentive system to attract teachers

• Improve teaching methodologies including through the use of ICT

• Achieve better performing schools in larger numbers

• Rehabilitate and refurbish Junior Secondary Schools identified for demolition and prepare them for special needs Tertiary Education and Training

• Develop a Regional Qualifications Framework and thoughtfully rationalise the tertiary level delivery system to support national and regional development objectives and Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 92 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Trinidad and Tobago’s diversification strategy. This is the responsibility of the National Commission for Higher Education

• Review and align the scholarship system to current and future skill needs

• Rationalise the GATE Programme and fast track its expansion into Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). Rethink the GATE Programme to support national priority needs including entrepreneurship and innovation

• Expand the Advance Training Programme through new Apprenticeship Programmes and Industry specific courses

• Introduce new, customised training programmes for industry personnel with an emphasis on skill building and up skilling of supervisory staff

• Establish more Workforce Development and Assessment Centres and develop programmes on the basis of assessment to skill, retool and upgrade workers Strategy: Promote and Instill Positive Values and Attitudes through the Education System The aim is to inculcate positive values that will enable students to reach their fullest potential, build our nation’s human capital and contribute towards national development. Among the key values to be promoted are lifelong learning and civic responsibility. Students must be confident in themselves, be self motivated, enterprising and able to work independently as well as with others. In addition, students must be able to lead, be responsive to the challenges of new roles and manage conflict. They must be respectful of the law, the rights of others, creative as well as have interpersonal and language skills. Revisions to the curriculum will support these changes.

Strategy: Address Skills Shortages and Build Workforce Competencies This will be done by utilising the skills of migrated nationals. New and existing global partnerships between international experts/agencies and the local diaspora will be promoted in order to facilitate training and knowledge exchanges. Tertiary throughput will also be better aligned to market realities and the diversification strategy. In addition, more Workforce Assessment Centres will be established and technical/vocational education expanded in order to strengthen our skill base.

Strategy: Support Lifelong Learning and Self Advancement Among Workers More has to be done regarding the employers’ financial contribution towards higher learning among employees if the country’s level of human capital is to be significantly increased.

Employers must also create the right culture so that employees will be willing to upgrade their skills. This will further help address issues such as poor work ethics and productivity and ultimately lead to increased human capital. Whereas the GATE Programme addresses the

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Strategy: Adopt a more Structured Approach towards Human Capital Development This will create the linkages between the demand and supply of labour to better utilise human capital by creating the relevant institutional and technical framework for managing human

capital. Measures to be taken include:

• Establish a Human Capital Committee

• Develop a National Human Capital Policy

• Establish a Labour Market Information System (LMIS)

• Create a skills data base of nationals living abroad These initiatives will allow us to prepare not just on the basis of market realities but projected future needs.

Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 94 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Figure 8 Key Results Human Capital Development

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Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 97 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Innovation for Lasting Prosperity 98 Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011 - 2014 Chapter VIII The Role of Key Stakeholders and New Institutional Arrangements The economic and social transformation being pursued requires bold steps by, and close collaboration among, key actors in the economy and the society. Furthermore, the imperatives of building an innovation-driven economy requires that all key stakeholders and institutions including public sector organisations, operate as high performance, professional entities, that demonstrate the requisite levels of effectiveness and efficiency in their service delivery.


The Public Service of Trinidad and Tobago must position itself, through partnerships with key stakeholders, as a key facilitator for achieving an innovation-driven economy that is based on greater inclusiveness and equity. It must strike the right balance between social imperatives and economic objectives; it must meet rising public expectations by delivering faster results and must provide officers with modern tools and policies that improve service delivery as well as create public value. Moreover, it must recognise and reward creative ideas and practices, while adhering to the principles of merit, competency, flexibility and fairness as it employs innovative ways of meeting the diverse needs of stakeholders.

In order to position Trinidad and Tobago as a global leader in the 21st Century, priority will be

given to:

• developing the capacity of managers to manage effectively and achieve excellence

• attracting, nurturing and retainng the best possible talent

• transforming the traditional hierarchial directive management system into a valuesdriven and knowledge-based management model To serve our citizens in the 21st Century, the Public Service must build effective collaborations across different functions, units, Ministries and Agencies as well as with business and civil society. Such collaboration, is vital to overcoming regulartory weaknesses, market failures and resource constraints that undermine efforts to successfully expand economic opportunity and support an economy that is driven by investments, productivity growth, competitiveness and inovation.

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1. Operationalise the governance framework of the public service;

2. Redesign and build the Human Resource Management (HRM) architecture for a 21st Century public service;

3. Develop and implement the service delivery policy framework and architecture;

4. Build the human resource capability and capacity for national development;

5. Build business continuity management capacity; and

6. Guide the strategic direction and policy formulation of the telecommunications sector.

By focusing on and improving these six (6) areas, Government will be able to strengthen the Public Service to achieve greater levels of efficiency and productivity. It follows that in the face of global change, uncertainty and complexity, the Public Service of Trinidad and Tobago needs to adopt a bold and innovative approach to be successful. There is the need to develop our own capabilities, recognise and seize opportunities in order to earn a competitive advantage. By reforming the Public Sector, we hope to improve the Ease of Doing Business Index and create the conditions that are conducive to higher productivity, the generation of greater confidence, and an increase in both local and foreign investment.


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