Economic development through education: a 6-step methodology

SALCC French Gateways

Within the framework of the FORPRO project, funded by the French Embassy in Saint Lucia, Unite Caribbean was mandated to improve cooperation between French and Saint Lucian vocational and higher education institutions. The objective is to improve access to market for students and intensification of exchanges between the countries. Contributing to creating economic development in the Caribbean through vocational training requires a clear methodology and experience in international project management.

1. Initial ASSESSMENT of the project structure

The first step is to establish a diagnostic for the implementation aligned with the goals and components of the project. Unite Caribbean thus identified the objective with the greatest impact: to support access to the labour market for tertiary vocational training students in a regional, Caribbean approach. Two questions underpinned our analysis: i) how to support the economic development potential of existing Caribbean vocational training streams? ii) how to develop dynamic cooperation between education and economic actors in the region?

2. ANALYSIS for the identification of sectors in need of priority support

Following the initial assessment, the project team undertook an analysis of the labour demand of the economic sectors in Saint Lucia by comparing it with Guadeloupe and Martinique. In a second phase, a study of the existing vocational training offer in Saint Lucia led to the selection of the two vocational training sectors with the greatest economic impact in a context of cooperation with Guadeloupe and Martinique: tourism and agri-business.

3. PARTNERSHIP with key actors in vocational education in the Caribbean

In parallel, Unite Caribbean met with several actors from the educational and private sectors in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Lucia such as chambers of commerce, international companies, or governmental education agencies to present the project. Our objective was to obtain qualitative data on the local and regional supply and demand for vocational training. In this context, Unite Caribbean orchestrated the development of a steering committee of key stakeholders in vocational training in Saint Lucia. Following the discussions, Unite Caribbean signed memorandums of understanding with the key partners present in Saint Lucia, namely the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, the main institution of higher education in Saint Lucia, and the Alliance française de Sainte-Lucie, which is recognized for its French-language skills training.

4. DESIGN of a tailor-made vocational training programme

These steps led to the co-creation of the French Gateways to Global Careers, a vocational training programme in technical French and  entrepreneurship based on cooperation with Guadeloupe and Martinique in the tourism and agriculture sectors. This programme mixes theory and practice. It aims to develop the international mobility of Saint Lucian students towards the French West Indies and open markets for French and Saint Lucians companies. Unite Caribbean has therefore partnered with the Alliance Française to create a technical French course in the tourism and agricultural sectors and to train 5 Saint Lucian teachers to deliver this course. At the same time, Unite Caribbean assisted the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College in designing the Syllabus for the French Gateways to Global Career programme.

5. PROMOTION, recruitment and selection of students

We then developed a communication strategy with our partners to promote our programme with two objectives. The first was to recruit Saint Lucian students with a basic knowledge of French and an interest in doing business or creating a company in the French West Indies. The second is to create partnerships with private companies and educational institutions in Saint Lucia, Guadeloupe and Martinique who will participate as lecturers and host  internships and study visits in the French West Indies. More than 40 quality applications were received, and after a selection based on the motivation, academic background and level of French of the applicants, we identified the 15 students with the best profile to work, study or do business in France.

6. LAUNCH of the French Gateways to Global Careers programme

The final step is the launch of our programme with the first courses starting on Thursday 27 January 2022. You can follow the official launch of the French Gateways to Global Career on 3 February from 10am to 12pm in livestream.

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