The Barbados Community College (BCC) and Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today which will see students in the College’s Nursing Auxiliary Studies Programme benefiting from training in aspects of elderly care which are not currently offered by the institution.
New Principal of the BCC, Annette Alleyne, and Director, Sagicor Financial, Dr. Jeannine Comma, signed the MOU during a ceremony at Sagicor headquarters in Wildey, St. Michael.
Speaking at the ceremony, Acting Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Senator Lucille Moe, said The Estates at St. George venture and the development of a curriculum focused on the care of the elderly were timely as the Government of Barbados “continues to seek to ensure a high standard of living for all and the continuous development of its citizens.”
The Senator told those present that the financial returns and economic gains to be derived from The Estates at St. George, which will be the region’s first Active Adult Community with Continuing Care Facility for seniors, was testament to the fact that Barbados was still an attractive domain for investment.
The venture is expected to cost approximately US $85 million and will employ more than 100 persons, once completed.
The Minister added that about 35 Health Care Aides would be needed to work at The Estates and there would be opportunities for additional jobs in areas such as catering, housekeeping, maintenance, security and administration.
Sagicor and Origin Active Lifestyle Communities Inc., have partnered to operate The Estates at St. George, located at Boarded Hall.
The key requirements of the Sagicor-Origin partnership is the availability of highly trained, talented staff who must be certified in their discipline and trained in the ‘Origin Way’ of delivery of service.
Origin has a Health Care Aid (HCA) in Geriatric and Ageing. It is expected that the Sagicor-Origin collaboration will enhance the Nursing Auxiliary Studies programme of the BCC by utilizing the lessons and experience of the Origin model and their partnership with the University of Toronto.
Senator Moe proffered the view that global health care was rapidly transforming and people were living longer.
She pointed out that the BCC, having reached 50 years in the educational sector, continued to be innovative by reinventing itself as it catered to the needs of society.
To this end, the Minister said that the proposed training model would involve a Learning and Talent Development Unit, which would allow for the offering of the Nursing Auxiliary programme, as well as hospitality training operations. This Unit will combine curriculum with practice-lab integration, and diverse learning opportunities.
The training programme will be designed specifically to certify persons to work in the elderly care industry while seeking to “revolutionize” the lives of the local senior population, Senator Moe disclosed.
She added that the signing of the MOU between Sagicor and the BCC would “serve as a template, indicative of the possibilities that ensue, when government and the private sector collaborate for the benefit of citizens”.
Additionally, Dr. Comma said the signing of the MOU was an historic occasion for both the BCC and Sagicor. She noted that while Sagicor had a specific interest in ensuring the staff of The Estates was a priority, it should not only be an “Estates” initiative but also a national one.
“This signed MOU is an important step towards the implementation of what we anticipate will be a series of programmes which have embedded in the prospectus, new and divergent research which addresses key aspects of caring for the elderly.
“What will be different about this initiative is that we will try to ensure that we weave our Barbadian cultural mores into the fabric of the programme, as those customs, values and traditions should be reignited and positively celebrated and practised as we care for the elderly,” Dr. Comma emphasized.