Minister of Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector, Colin Jordan (centre), poses with (l-r) Assistant Director of NTI, Marcelle Greenidge; Senior Advisor for Coursera on Global Government Partnership, Chad Pasha; Enterprise Client Success Manager, Patrick Whitaker; Director of the NTI, Dr. Allyson Leacock; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector, Dr. Karen Best; and Programme Officer in the Ministry, Randy Clarke, following their recent meeting. (GP)

Phase Two of the Commonwealth of Learning/Coursera Workforce Recovery Programme initiative will be coming soon.

This was discussed during a courtesy call with Minister of Labour and Social Security and the Third Sector, Colin Jordan, and officials from Coursera and the National Transformation Initiative (NTI) at the Ministry, Warrens Office Complex, Warrens, St. Michael, recently.

Minister Jordan, reflecting on the initial opportunity with Coursera, noted that when the offer was brought to the Government of Barbados, “we grabbed hold of it and took it with both hands”.

“We realised that there was something in those courses and I think what appealed to us was that these were short courses, but connected with very reputable institutions, and we knew that that would be attractive to people.  We always talk about accreditation and you want to be associated with something that has a track record…. 

“And with Government utilising digital learning, what Coursera offered fit perfectly into what we were doing, so we figured that that would make a lot of sense for us as a country and for our people generally,” Mr. Jordan stated.

During the meeting, Senior Advisor for Coursera on Global Government Partnership, Chad Pasha; Director of the NTI, Dr. Allyson Leacock, and Assistant Director of NTI with responsibility for Coursera Communications and Client Success, Marcelle Greenidge, informed the Minister of the areas that would be focused on in Phase Two of the learning programme.

They disclosed that in Phase Two a new set of courses and tracks would be offered, including building and construction, retail and manufacturing, health and wellness, engineering, and land surveying, at various levels (basic, intermediate and advanced).

Minister Jordan said he was pleased with the relationship that had developed between Barbados and Coursera, and was looking forward to the launch of Phase Two, noting that it would help to advance and transform the people of Barbados, as the initiative seeks to upskill persons in a diverse range of areas.

Also present at the courtesy call were: Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Labour, Social Security and the Third Sector, Dr. Karen Best; Programme Officer in the Ministry, Randy Clarke, and Enterprise Client Success Manager, Patrick Whitaker. 

Coursera’s website offered participants in Phase One access to over 4,000 courses and 400 specialisations, which were provided by 200 recognised and accredited international institutions.

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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