Business View Caribbean | Volume 8, Issue 9

11 BUSINESS VIEW CARIBBEAN VOLUME 8, ISSUE 9 G ood Morning, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Launch of the CARICOM Digital Skills Task Force. The Task Force has been established to provide an opportunity for the Region to deliver a more collaborative, coordinated and innovative approach to meeting the digital skills challenge. Technology is quickly transforming the way we live and work. Most transactions are digital, information is immediate. As you may be aware, the need for digital skills has also come to the ‘forefront’ due to the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The regional digital footprint has increased tremendously over the past year, with citizens doing what they can to adapt to the new normal way of living. However, COVID-19 has deepened the existing inequality of access, and further exacerbated the mismatch between income and education, training and job prospects. The crisis revealed the weakness and unpreparedness of the current education systems worldwide, following the deployment of digital learning during mass school closures across almost all countries. At the Global Education Meeting (GEM) convened by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in October 2020, governments and the international community identified five priorities for urgent action, including support to teachers as frontline workers, scaling up of digital skills and narrowing the digital divide. Before the pandemic, digital skills were valued, but now they are vital to keep up with the growing trend of the virtual world in which we SECRETARY-GENERAL DR CARLA BARNETT ADDRESSES LAUNCH OF THE CARICOM DIGITAL SKILLS TASK FORCE live and must thrive. Strong collaboration is needed between the public, private and civic society sectors, to promote learning and skills delivery in different environments, and make it accessible and inclusive to all. The private sector is well-positioned to help meet and expand The primary objective of the CARICOM Digital Skills Task Force is to promote awareness of the importance of digital skills for students, business and governments OPENING L INES