Extracurricular Activities Key to Productivity

extra-curricular-activityFew would dispute the benefits of a good education. The attainment of high academic achievement helps in furthering careers, aids in informed decision making and allows for the obtainment of better pay. Whilst education plays a significant role in personal development from a young age, extracurricular activities are also key.

Recent reports indicate that extracurricular activities, such as basketball, baseball, tennis, debating, chess clubs, student council, band practice, drama, choir and computer clubs aid in the rounding out of a students’ academic career. Besides being fun and a great way to socialize with peers, extracurricular activities can enhance a students’ time management and stress management skills, helping to improve their overall productivity.

Within the online article, “The Importance of Extracurricular Activities for Teens”, on the ‘I Have a Plan Iowa!’ website, school counsellor Kenny Smith states, “Studies show that students in extracurricular activities have higher academic scores. They learn to manage their time, relieve stress and learn to strive for excellence in more than one thing. Students who are involved in team sports learn to work in groups. Their written and oral communication skills also improve. These things cross over into real life.”

The development of social skills, improved academic performance, and the ability to build strong supportive relationships with adults (other than parents), can also result through extracurricular activities. However, what is learned through the experience depends largely on the age of the child.  Benefits to younger children include social and academic skill development which can lead to improved conflict management and better school attendance. Pre-teens become more engaged at school and more attentive in class. They are also less likely to be involved in violent behaviour during school time. Benefits to adolescents are the most significant however. Older teens need guidance to grow into productive adulthood. They need to be deterred from anti-social behaviour and steered towards positive practices. With most extracurricular activities being held straight after school, teens remain engaged during hours usually associated with adolescent misconduct. Also, activities engaged in provide extra time for career exploration, skill development, service learning and internships, which are vital aids to those about to leave school.

Presently extracurricular activities also bear some importance within tertiary education establishments who look to the activities listed on college and university applications when determining whether an applicant would be a productive student.

As Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz states in her Huffington Post article ‘What College Admissions Offices Look for in Extracurricular Activities’, “Admissions officers look first at test scores, the rigor of the courses you take, and your grades in those courses. After that, they are interested in a student’s extracurricular activities — in other words, how you spend your time outside of classes. Colleges care about the character of people they admit; therefore, what you do after school, during weekends and over summers tells them a lot about the kind of person you are.’

She goes on’ “Extracurricular activities are the major way students can demonstrate how unique they are, possibly more interesting, even “better” than other student applicants.”

There are certain skills that need to be developed over time which will aid in the shaping of a productive individual. Yet, it must be remembered that the development of an individual is measured not only in terms of intellectual capacity but also in character and social skills. Therefore, to allow for a well-rounded development of the youth, students should be encouraged and properly guided in all of their activities (curricular and extracurricular). Productive extracurricular activities that do not undermine academic performance should be encouraged and utilized as avenues to teach the qualities of ethical leadership, teamwork and so much more. 
About the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC)

Established in October 2013, The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) is responsible for the identification of key issues related to competitiveness and productivity in Saint Lucia.

The NCPC and its Technical Secretariat is committed to providing the necessary advocacy and research to produce timely and effective recommendations to policymakers on issues that affect both competitiveness and productivity on island. For more information about productivity or on the NCPC, visit www.stluciancpc.org; www.facebook.com/stluciancpc, call 468-5571/5576 or send an e-mail to stluciancpc@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

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VACANCY NOTICE- ECONOMIST

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Background

The Government of Saint Lucia with assistance from Compete Caribbean Program established the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) with an accompanying Technical Unit. The NCPC is a forum for public-private dialogue (PPD) on issues relating to productivity and competitiveness and is charged with the mandate to define the agenda on enhancing the country’s productivity and competitiveness.

The Technical Unit provides all the necessary support to the NCPC in the fulfilment of its mandate.  The successful candidate will report to the Executive Director of the NCPC Technical Unit.

Core Responsibilities:

(i) Undertake research for the development of key documents to support NCPC discussions and meetings.

(ii)  Develop statistical databases with key microeconomic and macroeconomic data;

(iii) Participate in exercises of the Council’s to provide recommendations on actions to promote productivity and competitiveness to the Government of Saint Lucia.

(iv) Monitor proposed recommendations and ongoing actions for enhancing productivity and competitiveness.

(v) Implement/coordinate and monitor of key projects of the NCPC as assigned.

(vi) Develop PowerPoint Presentation for NCPC or other required meetings.

(vii) Draft terms of reference for consultants working towards specific outputs related to the execution of NCPC activities.

(viii) Assist with the drafting of academic papers, studies, journal articles and related documents for knowledge generation and sharing on issues of private sector development and competitiveness in the Caribbean.

(ix) Draft letters and memos including memos to Cabinet as related to the work of the NCPC.

(x) Assist with the organization of knowledge at fairs, conference, and workshops to promote the issues surrounding productivity and competitiveness.

(xi) Participate in meetings/conferences in keeping with the objective of the Council.

(xii) Undertake other duties as required relating to the work of the NCPC.

Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:

(i) Leadership capabilities and ability to work with multi-disciplinary teams;

(ii) Computer literacy, especially possessing operational skills in word-processing and spreadsheet application including software programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Project.

(iii) Strong analytical background with the ability to analyse data and information.

(iv) Ability to work effectively in partnership with all stakeholders while maintaining the credibility of the work and the Office of the Technical Unit.

(v) Ability to find and communicate accurate information concerning processes, policies and procedures to stakeholders;

(vi) Ability to work and function within a close knit team of officers;

(vii) Ability to handle stakeholders tactfully, courteously, and diplomatically;

(viii) Must be of high integrity, transparent, and accountable;

(ix) Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with Project Steering Committee, Ministry of Finance and Compete Caribbean staff, vendors, private organizations and the public.

(x) Working Knowledge of public and private organisations; preferably, direct working experience with government, private sector agencies and international organizations.

(xi) Ability to communicate effectively in written and oral formats.

(xii) Effective reporting writing skills are essential.

Qualifications: 

(i)  Master’s Degree in Economics

                        OR

(ii) Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with at least six years of experience in working in a similar position.

(iii) Knowledge of project management will be considered an asset.

Salary:

Salary will be paid according to qualifications and experience.

 

Deadline for submission of applications is December 21, 2016 and should be sent to:

Executive Director

National Competitiveness & Productivity Council (NCPC)

Department of Finance

4th Floor Finance Administrative Centre

Pointe Seraphine

Castries

Saint Lucia

 

Or via e-mail to stluciancpc@gmail.com

 

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

NCPC RELEASES INNOVATIVE SECONDARY SCHOOLS PROJECT DOCUMENTARY

(To be aired on Wednesday, November 23rd at 8:00p.m on DBS TV)

In the past decade, the face of education has transformed drastically. A look at the modern education landscape reveals a shift towards the implementation of more innovative practices and policies in schools worldwide. In some schools, innovation can be seen in the use of instructional technology in classrooms while in others this innovation is translated in the way schools are managed/organized.

Upgrading our schools and teaching methods are essential in nurturing and cultivating a citizenry of problem solvers and innovators who will help build a competitive Saint Lucia. This is important as, at the core of country competitiveness is the quality of the human resources of a nation.

In an attempt to enhance St. Lucia’s productivity and competitiveness climate, the NCPC has placed the spotlight on the youth in inculcating a mindset change with the intention of nurturing a new generation of citizens who are productive and competitive Saint Lucians.

The NCPC’s Innovative Secondary Schools Documentary seeks to highlight some of the innovative projects being undertaken by Secondary Schools in Saint Lucia. It is hoped that this will not only inspire and encourage other schools and individuals to follow suit but similar will be the catalyst for advocating for a supportive environment that embraces innovation in key sectors such as education.

Don’t forget to tune in to DBS at 8:00pm on Wednesday, November 23rd to view this documentary.

SALCC Students pitch business ideas in ‘Shark Tank-style’ Idea Generation Competition- NCPC on Judging Panel

 

Global Entrepreneurship Week may be only two days in but the level  of excitement and enthusiasm among the young entrepreneur community has been astounding.

Earlier today, the Business Studies Department of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College hosted an Idea Generation Competition, in an attempt to highlight entrepreneurship among the student population, as part of the calendar of activities for #GEWSLU2016.

Conceptualized after the renowned television show “Shark Tank”, students from various divisions of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College presented their ideas (and in some cases finished products) to a panel of  four judges which included, NCPCs Communications Specialist, Ms. Taluah Girard.

Eight teams and individuals vied for the top three spots and prizes which included trophies and cash to go towards their business ventures/ideas.

The competition was very intense. The level of preparation and research which went into the various presentations was evident. Ideas presented ranged from scented candles, organic fruit juices and online businesses to organic skin and hair products and upcycled personalized furniture. In the end, the effervescent Jasmine, a second-year student from the DTEMS division walked away with the top prize for her business Beyoutics (@Beyoutics), a line of organic products (including a Brown Sugar Olive Oil Exfoliator, Coffee Cellulite Reducer aimed at skin correction and maintenance. Team Amobye with their eclectic upcycled furniture came in second while Everything Crochet with their personalized bralettes and crochet-wear.

The excitement continues today with Global Entrepreneurship Exhibition at the Grace Augustin Conference Room of the College from 9:00am – 2:30pm.

NCPC is playing a part in harnessing the entrepreneur in you(TH)!

Join the global movement to promote entrepreneurship. It is vital to our economy.

#gewslu2016 #harnessingthepowerinyouth #entrepneurship #SALCC #NCPC #youthempowerment

Spotlight on Youthpreneurs for GEW 2016

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) emerged in 2008 as a platform to celebrate entrepreneurial spirit and innovative culture. The inaugural activity was held locally in 2011 and has since continued to grow with new partner organizations collaborating and committing their support. As such over the years, new events and activities have emerged annually.ncpc-gew-logo

As Saint Lucia prepares to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week from November 14th– 20th, 2016, under the theme, ‘Harnessing the Entrepreneur in You(th)’, the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) wishes to acknowledge the efforts of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce and GEW Saint Lucia to equip and empower young entrepreneurs (youthpreneurs) to succeed in the current global climate.

Entrepreneurial activity is a source of national wealth. That is, the productivity, efficiency and dynamism of local businesses are essential to country competitiveness. When businesses in an economy are collectively making profits, employing persons and exporting products and services, this in itself drives the competitiveness of the country.

It is therefore widely believed that entrepreneurial activity contributes to a prosperous and competitive country. Consequently, more developed and competitive countries have aimed to increase the number of entrepreneurs in their country by assisting in their development.

Entrepreneurship therefore plays a critical role in economic growth globally. Moreover, in developing countries like Saint Lucia that are resource-constrained, entrepreneurship has the ability to transform, not just the standard of living of the entrepreneur, but similarly impact the entire society through the creation of job opportunities.

Notwithstanding, youth unemployment continues to be a major problem facing the Caribbean Region. In a recent study entitled, “You Are The Future:  The Imperative of Youth Employment for Sustainable Development in the Caribbean”, published by the Caribbean Development Bank, CDB President Dr. Warren Smith states, “Not only is youth unemployment high relative to global levels, it is also significantly higher than  adult unemployment.

In 2012, unemployment among youth aged 15 to 19 was at 60% in Saint Lucia. Similarly, during the period 2008- 2014, unemployment among youth aged 15-24 rose by 15%. This is the glaring reality of the magnitude of the challenge which we are confronted with where youth are concerned.

Considering the high population of youth in Saint Lucia, the involvement of youth in entrepreneurship will not only address issues of unemployment, but will similarly help to stimulate a culture of innovation amongst our young people.

Since the establishment of the Council in 2013, the NCPC has engaged in a series of activities which not only promote increased productivity and competitiveness but similarly focus on equipping entrepreneurs with the necessary tools and encouraging an environment where entrepreneurship can thrive.

During GEW 2016, the NCPC will be highlighting two young Saint Lucian entrepreneurs who have overcome every day challenges through innovative solutions and created successful businesses. The two five-minute features, which will air on the National Television Network (NTN) on Monday, November 14th at 6:15p.m. and on Choice TV at 7:55pm on Wednesday, November 16th and Thursday, November 17th, will follow the journey of Johanan Dujon, Managing Director of Algas Organics and Mandisa Morrison, Managing Director of Shoe Rehab.

 Information on airing dates and stations will be published on the NCPC’s Facebook page (www.stluciancpc.org ) and blog; www.ncpcstlucia.wordpress.com

The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council is pleased to be a part of this global initiative to empower youth. Mark your calendars and get ready for #GEW2016!

 

About the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC)

Established in October 2013, The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) is responsible for the identification of key issues related to competitiveness and productivity in Saint Lucia.

The NCPC and its Technical Secretariat is committed to providing the necessary advocacy and research to produce timely and effective recommendations to policymakers on issues that affect both competitiveness and productivity on island.

For more information about productivity or on the NCPC, visit www.stluciancpc.org; www.facebook.com/stluciancpc, call 468-5571/5576/1587 or send an e-mail to stluciancpc@gmail.com.

 

Recognizing the Importance of Innovation in Building Business Competitiveness

 

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“If you aren’t innovating, you’re just waiting for the expiration date on your business,” Maria Ferrante-Schepis.

Competitive businesses are characterized by the development of innovative ideas to keep operations, products and services relevant and up to date. Competitiveness refers to the degree to which a country can produce goods and services to satisfy international consumers’ needs while citizens enjoy a better standard of living. Innovation is an essential ingredient in building private sector competitiveness. Innovation provides businesses with an edge in entering new markets faster, increasing sales beyond national borders, expansion of business opportunities beyond traditional markets, creating employment opportunities, development of efficient business processes and the list continues.

The private sector is central to every country’s economic ecosystem. They have the driving force to keep the business sector changing; being more up- to- date and responding to changing customer trends and needs. Their ability to innovate and expand is the centrifugal force in building competitiveness. Businesses which sell high quality products that rival that of other countries and are able to gain a greater market share in global competition are fundamental in positioning the country as a competitive economy. Therefore, innovative businesses are instrumental in driving export growth, supporting economic diversification and enhancing competitiveness.

Enterprises that are quick and responsive to opportunities to create increased profits through innovation in this uncertain economic environment will not only survive; they will successfully compete and thrive in the face of harsh economic conditions. These companies are smart to use innovation as a strategic, systemic and technological lever for developing agile innovation cultures, efficient business management processes and global industry eco-systems.

Within our local context, some companies have not adapted to innovative trends which have the potential for creating more value for the business. Some companies still do not have a website or email address, stores close at peak hours or are still faxing documents to clients. Business owners should understand that through innovation, employees are empowered to deliver business breakthroughs which helps cultivate a profound culture that promotes faster business growth and business value.

The following are some possible ways in which firms can innovate in order to drive enterprise competitiveness:

  • Attract and recruit passionate employees. Their passion can lead to new ideas for revolutionary product or service innovations. Innovative businesses allow employees some time to work on passion projects. Through this strategy they find many new ideas, solutions and successes from these projects. If team members in the business are encouraged to be innovative, this translates to many benefits for the business, while giving them a sense of involvement in the success and profitability of the company.
  • Incorporate innovation in every unit within your business. Gillette, in its attempt to build a culture of creativity and innovation launched an internal innovation fair. Every unit was given the opportunity to showcase its most promising new concepts. An award was given to the legal department for its ethics program. This shows that every department can play a role in developing a culture of innovation.
  • Train your employees to think like innovators. With some employee training in innovation and opportunities for real world practice, this can significantly upgrade the innovation skills of team members. A pertinent example of this strategy is that of Whirlpool Corporation’s strong innovation performance which stems from the fact that the company has trained more than 15,000 of its employees to be business innovators. Innovation training program should start by helping individuals see the world with fresh eyes and a different perspective.

Innovation is about seeing opportunities and grabbing them. Or being faced with a problem and finding a way around it. In today’s hypercompetitive market place, businesses need to continually adapt to remain competitive. As such, business leaders should avoid the mundane practices of past successes and upturn this with non-linear thinking. New innovative business strategies, practices and models are necessary for competing in the future. Businesses should therefore be observant in identifying distinctive skills required for future clients, technologies, regulations and competitors. This in turn motivates other companies to keep up, driving positive economic benefits and therefore positioning the country as a competitive powerhouse.

About the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC)

Established in October 2013, The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) is responsible for the identification of key issues related to competitiveness and productivity in Saint Lucia.

The NCPC and its Technical Secretariat is committed to providing the necessary advocacy and research to produce timely and effective recommendations to policymakers on issues that affect both competitiveness and productivity on island. For more information about productivity or on the NCPC visit www.stluciancpc.org; www.facebook.com/stluciancpc, call 468-5571/5576 or send an e-mail to stluciancpc@gmail.com

NCPC Youth AV Competition Seeks Youth Inspired Solutions

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New Deadline: December 31st, 2016

The NCPC Youth Audio Visual Competition is currently inviting submissions audio-visual pieces (of no longer than 15 minutes in length) on the subject of productivity and competitiveness challenges facing Saint Lucia and possible innovative solutions to these challenges.

The competition has among its main objectives, the dissemination and promotion of audio-visual pieces which tackle the issues of productivity and competitiveness in Saint Lucia with a focus on increasing awareness of these issues, facilitating dialogue and finding solutions. This activity is also intended to support the discovery of creative expression as an inspiration for the development of the film and audio visual fields.

Three winners will be chosen from among the submissions for the Youth Audio-Visual Competition by our panel of judges. The winning pieces will screened during the 2017 Piton International Film Festival. Winners can also expect some exciting prizes from our sponsors; Massy Stores (SLU) Ltd, CPR Direct and The Directors’ Institute of Media and Technology.

This is a wonderful opportunity to lend your unique voice and ideas to critical challenges facing our local communities. If you would like to submit an audio-visual piece, please visit, https://ncpcstlucia.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/ncpc-youth-audio-visual-competition-unveiled/  for the Competition Guidelines. You may also visit the NCPC’s website www.stluciancpc.org, call 468-5571/468-5576 or send an e-mail to stluciancpc@gmail.com  for more detailed information on the Competition.

The NCPC has made the submission process very simple, visit our electronic platform at http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07edcwdoy3057fd092&llr=wsvxeybab to submit your entry.

Entrants can shoot their films on mobile phones or any other device.

Submissions are now open until December 31st, 2016.

About the Competition

The NCPC Youth Audio-visual Competition invites aspiring youth filmmakers/producers to express their vision by creating a short 10-15 minute audio visual piece. The competition calls on youth to explore the themes of productivity and competitiveness, emphasizing what individuals and communities across the island are doing to promote action, offer solutions and inspire positive change. Participants are encouraged to use personal narratives that explore fundamental questions such as: What are some of the barriers to productivity and competitiveness in my community/on my island? What actions are being taken to mitigate these barriers? What innovative solutions do I think can be employed to resolve these challenges?