NCPC Launch New Television Series- Productivity Matters

 

Screen Shots From Productivity Matters

The National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) are pleased to announce the broadcast dates for their new television series ‘Productivity Matters’. The series, (which is funded by Compete Caribbean) gives insight into organisations and agencies within the private and public sectors, whose programs and initiatives focus on productivity and/or competitiveness.

The series which comprises of six episodes, made its debut in January 2016.

Marketing Analyst at the NCPC, Mrs Geraldine Bicette Joseph states, ‘There are many organisations out there that are doing great things in regards to helping develop the nation through productivity initiatives and we believe that it is only right for their efforts to be highlighted. Each episode within the series varies significantly from the other as we have looked at a range of individuals and subject matters including the construction industry, solid waste management, the public service, the Commercial Division of the High Court and young entrepreneurs’.

‘At the NCPC we also recognise that it is sometimes hard to grasp the concepts of productivity and competitiveness and so we hope that the series will illustrate how these concepts, when applied practically, bring about a positive outcome for the nation’.

Productivity Matters will be aired at the following times on the stations listed.

Ep 1- Productivity Awareness Week 2015 (Calabash- 7.50pm, DBS – 8pm, 11/1/16) (HTS 8pm 14/1/16)

Ep 2 – Employee Assistance Program (Calabash- 7.50pm, DBS – 8pm, 25/1/16) (HTS 8pm 28/1/16)

Ep 3 – Commercial Court (Calabash- 7.50pm, DBS – 8pm, 8/2/16) (HTS 8pm 11/2/16)

Ep 4 – Greening the Caribbean (Calabash- 7.50pm, DBS – 8pm, 22/2/16) (HTS 8pm 25/2/16)

Ep 5 – The Construction Industry (Calabash- 7.50pm, DBS – 8pm, 7/3/16) (HTS 8pm 10/3/16)

Ep 6 – Young Entrepreneurs (Calabash- 7.50pm, DBS – 8pm, 21/3/16) (HTS 8pm 24/3/16)

 

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Feedback on the NCPC Young Entrepreneurs’ Mixer

NCPC Logo- high resolutionThe National Competitiveness & Productivity Council continues its efforts in creating a mind-set change that promotes a more productive and competitive Saint Lucia. As such, as part of Productivity Awareness Week 2015 a Young Entrepreneurs’ Mixer was organised to present young and prospective entrepreneurs with an opportunity to network. The focus of this activity was for these young persons to make connections and obtain useful information to guide and advance their business efforts.

This event took place on Friday, October 16, 2015 where there were various short speeches on financial management tips, marketing for small businesses and developing business plans. The featured speech was entitled: “How to grow your money- the non-conventional approach”. In attendance were over fifty young and aspiring entrepreneurs. There was also a mingling session, where entrepreneurs got an opportunity to meet with mentors and other possible business partners.

One of the entrepreneurs in attendance was Mr. Johanan Dujon, who provided his feedback on the activity:

The NCPC Business Mixer gave me the chance to rub shoulders with the “big boys” of the private sector in Saint Lucia, as well as to listen to gems of wisdom by bankers and marketing advisors. Events such as these provide a unique opportunity for young entrepreneurs like myself, to network and build lasting relationships. Unlike other mixers I’ve attended, this one allowed entrepreneurs to pick the brains of successful businessmen at length in a casual and open environment. This type of mentorship and dialogue with the local business magnates is one of the key factors in developing entrepreneurship.

Another key factor in driving entrepreneurship is access to finance from a government policy standpoint. Commercial banks do not cater for venture capital (start-up capital) understandably due to the high risk. The micro finance institutions charge more exorbitant rates of interest than the banks themselves, which can be discouraging to aspiring entrepreneurs and put micro/small business owners in a real conundrum.

In spite of these pressing issues,  listening to Mr. Rayneau Gajadhar address us on how to “grow money the unconventional way”, has provided valuable insight to what it takes to succeed in business. One of the many things I took from this lecture is that if you can survive here, you can survive anywhere.

I believe the turnout of this event shows that young entrepreneurs have a serious interest in business and understand their pivotal role of being the drivers of employment and investment in the future.

However, to grow money the unconventional way, we must first have access to the money in the first place. The question therefore should be; what can be done to aid micro/small enterprises with access to finance at an affordable rate?

The NCPC is indeed pleased that the event was quite beneficial to the attendees. The mentors who were present have reported that they have made connections with the entrepreneurs and plan to work with them in the future. We look forward to hosting other activities for young entrepreneurs in the future. More importantly, to host activities that meets the needs of young entrepreneurs.

NCPC Empowers Young Entrepreneurs towards Increased Productivity

Information Processing, E-Commerce, Social Media Marketing and Customer Service Will All Be Touched On At The EventThe National Productivity and Competitiveness Council (NCPC) reinforces its commitment towards promoting increased productivity and competitiveness by embarking on actions and activities which educate and encourage a mind-set change amongst the Saint Lucian citizenry.

Continuing on in this vein, the Council is seeking to empower and encourage future success amongst young entrepreneurs to equip them with the tools which will promote increase in innovations and by extension making their businesses more competitive.

To this end, the NCPC will be hosting as part of Productivity Awareness Week 2015 “The Competitiveness Enrichment Seminar” which will be held on October 15, 2015 from 9 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the ICT Centre on Bourbon Street, Castries.

The seminar will feature informative and engaging sessions touching on, amongst others, subjects such as Information Processing, E-Commerce, Social Media Marketing and Customer Service.

Event organiser Marina Suraj of the NCPC states:

‘If you are between the ages of 18-35 years and are an entrepreneur with a micro-business, this opportunity is for you!

The NCPC encourages persons who are interested in attending this one day session to contact their offices between Monday and Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. before September 25, 2015 to indicate your interest. All interested persons are asked to register for this event at the earliest as a limited number of spaces are available.

A short profiling questionnaire has been designed and placed on the NCPC Facebook page for persons who wish to attend.  You are welcome as well to visit our offices located on the Second Floor of the Financial Centre Building, Bridge Street, Castries to obtain and complete the eligibility form.  The form seeks to ascertain the eligibility based on the age requirement which qualifies you the entrepreneur as “youth” and other pre-set features which identify your business as a “micro-enterprise.

For those who maybe working within the day but would still like to attend one of the events, we will be hosting a young entrepreneur’s mixer on the evening of 16th October, at The Blue Coral Mall from 6pm to 9pm. This will be a great networking event where numerous linkages can be made to help anyone along the way in relation to growing their business. Again, numbers are limited so we encourage those interested to get in touch with us at the earliest convenience.”

How to be a Productive Intern this Summer…

St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Apprenticeship Scheme Intern Melissa Mondesir

St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association Apprenticeship Scheme Intern Melissa Mondesir

Internships provide real world experience to those looking to explore or gain the relevant knowledge and skills required to enter into a particular career field. Internships are relatively short term in nature with the primary focus on getting some on the job training and taking what’s learned in the classroom and applying it to the real world.

Internships are an excellent way to begin building those all-important connections that are invaluable in developing and maintaining a strong professional network for the future.

Each year, thousands of students gain experience by doing summer internships. In order to be successful at your internship this summer here are seven tips that could help you make your stint productive.

Start your day early

Set your morning alarm earlier than usual and swing by the office ahead of time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, this extra time in the morning can be very useful. This allows you the chance to complete a few tasks, check your inbox, and feel less rushed throughout the day.

Write  down  everything

Whether you consider yourself to be an absorbent sponge it never hurts to carry a notebook. When you have to remember important information, you won’t need to waste time racking your brain, but can open up your handy notes instead. Invest in a quality notebook or two and always keep them handy throughout the day for easy access.

Utilize to-do lists     

Keeping a planner or to-do list can be help you keep track of your daily and weekly assignments as an intern. Remember, time management is crucial to becoming more productive. You will be thankful that you have everything scheduled neatly once your tasks and weekly meetings start to pile up.

 Take regular breaks

Taking regular breaks may sound counterproductive however this will increase your performance at work. Studies have shown that breaks can help increase attention span as well as prevent fatigue and eyestrain from sitting at your desk all day. Everyone needs time to unwind and stretch- take a water break, make small talk with staff or take a few minutes to meditate.

Eat snacks
Don’t go hungry during your internship; snack on some healthy treats for extra energy and brain power. Skip the  sugary sweets that can make you feel sluggish and grab something quick for the office for example almonds (a handful is rich in vitamin E, calcium, and potassium), fresh or dried fruits (naturally sweet and also strengthen your immune system), or carrots with hummus (which has protein, calcium, iron, and can improve your eyesight).

Ask for help

Try to avoid being the intern who refreshes their outlook inbox every five seconds waiting for something to do. Ask your supervisor or any other colleague in your department if there are additional tasks that needs to be done. Always ask for guidance if you are unsure of how to complete tasks and bear in mind that you are there to learn and grow. Showing initiative and interest will definitely increase opportunities for growth.

 Meet everyone you can 

You’re an intern in an office filled with industry professionals make use of this opportunity to network. Start by saying “hello” to people in the hallways, and always make sure to introduce yourself. The connections you make at your internship can not only keep you busy at work today, but also land you your dream job five years down the line. Remember to stay connected with everyone you meet (and add them on LinkedIn)!

Important Productivity Lessons for Children

Productivity Lessons Can be Learnt From A Young Age

Productivity Lessons Can be Learnt From A Young Age

Defining the concept of productivity to a child can prove challenging. The children’s online dictionary ‘kids.net.au’, defines productivity as “the quality of being productive or having the power to produce.”  It is also listed as being “the ratio of the quantity and quality of units produced to the labour per unit of time.”  It is questionable however as to whether either of these definitions could be easily understood by a child. Therefore, to better assist children with a coherent understanding of the concept of productivity, parents must resort to a more practical approach through demonstration of productive practices, explaining the productive elements to be found within each approach. With continuity in the practice of teaching and employing everyday practical productivity practices, a combination of efficiency, good preparation, effective use of learning tools and materials will prove evident in the children’s need always to execute all tasks to the best of their ability.

Simple productive habits to be demonstrated to your children include,

Take Notes to Remember Something Important-

Taking notes eliminates the prospect of your child having to try to recollect information at a later date. Trying to remember important information that has not been written down can prove time consuming. In taking notes, the knowledge needed is always at hand. If your child does not like the prospect of carrying around a pencil and a notepad, get them to use their tablet or smartphone. It is the action of note taking that is important, not the instrument that they use to do so.

Put Things Back Where They Belong-

This action not only prevents the home from becoming cluttered, it actually saves your children from wasting time in the future. By placing items back where they belong, the prospect of having to look for them at a later date is eliminated. This practices teaches a very effective time saving strategy.

Do Not Put Tasks On Hold Until the Last Minute-

Using the time allocated for a certain project properly, will help improve your child’s time management skills. Effective use of the time given to complete a project will also allow your child to carry out the task at hand to the best of their ability.

Pack Your Belongings the Night Before-

By making this simple task into a habit, your child will be able to observe the effects of good preparation. Getting ready for school in the morning takes time. This task illustrates how effectively this can be done once they have packed their school bag the night before. They will also be able to see how this exercise plays a vital role as it pertains to the time they get to school in the morning and how it allows for them to be properly organised in advance.

 

The Better You Communicate, the Better You Will Be Understood-

Children should be taught from a young age that communication is key. The better they are at communicating, the more likely they will be understood by those they are communicating with. Better communication helps to prevent false assumptions. Good communication allows for messages to be received and responded to efficiently. It dispels confusion, eliminating the possibility of time being wasted on a wrong action.

Not all children are keen on learning new lessons, especially when it means that they have to change the way in which things are done. However once a lesson becomes a habit, and the worth of each habit is realized your child will be appreciative of the productivity lessons instilled in them at a young age. It is only right to place children on the correct path which will lead to them becoming productive adults. In this way, they will be better prepared for their lives ahead.

Enabling Productivity Growth in the Younger Generation

StudyingChildren may not be motivated to do what they are supposed to do, often resulting in their parents exclaiming ‘Why isn’t my child more productive!’ As a result parents carry out various strategies to encourage their children to get on task, many a time to no avail. However, what is seldom recognised is that a child might have one or more good reasons for not doing something; a child may be confused, tired, upset, hungry, or disinterested. He may find the task overwhelming or not fully understand the significance.

The effects of peer pressure may also be a contributing cause for procrastination as could a lack of organizational or time management skills. In effect, there are many reasons why children are not motivated to accomplish their tasks barring the notion that they are deliberately and purposefully counter- productive. In addressing the issue of demotivation amongst children, there are some basic strategies which may be considered to bring remedy to this problem.  As a sequel to last week’s featured article spotlighting teenagers and their approach to productivity, the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) would like to reflect on some of the ways in which parents can assist in the drive towards greater productivity amongst the youth.

  1. Help kids develop a growth mind-set. Emphasize that one step at a time is all it takes to get going placing emphasis on the importance of personal effort. Demonstrate an “I can do it!” attitude. Small accomplishments lead toward bigger ones, so provide children with direct, immediate and constructive feedback so that they can experience success along the way to task completion.
  2. Encourage accountability. Children have to learn to take ownership of what they choose to do (or not do) and face the consequences of their decisions. Talk to your children about it. You might also share with them why you view challenges as opportunities to grow and why buckling down and taking control of a situation is not only gratifying but is also good preparation for other eventualities of life.
  3. Make it meaningful. If a task is not relevant to a child, chances are it will not get done. If it’s interesting and relates to something important or intriguing, or sparks the imagination and connects to the individual’s aspirations, then chances are the child will be motivated to try it.
  4. Pay attention to skill sets. Some children need new or better strategies for pacing, organizing or self-regulation. Help them find solutions to the problems they may be facing. For example, homework-related issues might involve learning to use an agenda or study guide; finding a quiet and well-equipped workspace and removing distractions. A child may also need assistance dealing with instructions, clarifying expectations or breaking a task down into smaller, manageable chunks.
  5. Strive for balance. Everyone needs down time—ample opportunity to relax, play, exercise or just take a break. This is especially important for children. It also gives them a chance to reflect and to create and consolidate ideas.
  6. Believe in the child. Help children develop self-confidence by appreciating their efforts and past successes. Allow them to see these successes as stepping-stones to future positive experiences and outcomes. Let children know that you are available to listen and to offer reinforcement and guidance as they continue to persevere.

Parents are well positioned to provide all of this and more, in order to facilitate their child’s productivity. By being attuned to your child’s individual needs and patterns of avoidance, it is possible to find the best kinds of strategies for a given situation. Remember to be patient, supportive, and resourceful and it will be possible to address avoidance situations as they arise.

PRODUCTIVITY FROM A TEENAGE PERSPECTIVE

Homework To Do Lists Can Help Teenagers  Become More Productive StudentsDuring the month of April 2015, the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC) had the opportunity to be one of the host agencies participating in a job placement exercise facilitated through two local Secondary Schools. For two consecutive weeks, the Technical Secretariat attached to the NCPC played host to 15 year old students Showanna St. Louis of the Entrepot Secondary School and subsequently Tamara Plante of the St Joseph’ Covent. During their placement, the young ladies learnt about the operations of the Council, its mandate and goals. The students both exhibited a great eagerness to learn and were able to grasp the concepts taught to them fairly quickly. They were both able to enlighten the technical team with thought provoking synopsises of the challenges and critical issues affecting their peers and persons within their age demographic as well as providing viable options to address these issues.  The students were each challenged to write a feature from a teenager’s perspective to target other teenagers advising on the steps to be taken to becoming a productive young person within society. They both did incredibly well!

Here are excerpts from their responses. (Please advise all teenagers that you know to read the piece too.)

Showanna St. Louis, 15. Entrepot Secondary School.

‘Teenagers have a lot of free time and they spend mostly all of it on social media whilst they could spend it more productively by getting some work done. Here are a few tips on how teenagers can become more productive students and achieve better academically.

  • Select a comfortable working space

 No one should study where the television volume is up too high or where loud music is being played. These are both big distractions.  Having a comfortable working space with no distractions can create a favorable working zone for teenagers.

  • Study Timetables

 Create study timetables to help manage your time. Being able to follow a study timetable is very important. Many people have study timetables but tend to ignore them. Pin up the study timetable in your room or on the door of your room where you can see it and won’t forget about it.

  • Time Management

 Time management is another important thing when it comes to studying. Being able to manage your time is very important. If you are going to study two or three subjects a day, spend at least half an hour on each subject with a five minute break after each one which can be used to get some water, grab a quick snack or go to the washroom.

 

  • No Social Media

Instead of spending hours on social media, talking to your friends, use that time to go on the internet and do some research on things you didn’t understand in class. Who knows that very same thing might come up in the end of term exam.

  • Get Enough Sleep

 Sleep is one of the most important things when it comes to studying. The body should get up to eight hours of sleep every day. Sleeping also helps relax the brain and the brain needs rest.’

Tamara Plante, 15. St Joseph’s Covent, added:

  • Create a study list every day and a study schedule. A study list will help you approach your studies in an orderly way and help get things done faster and easier and keep you focused.

 

  • Keep a book on-hand or any writing material .This way you are able to write down any ideas that come to mind; this will prevent you from wasting time trying to remember things later

 

  • Most importantly PUT THE PHONE AWAY .This is the main issue that prevents us teens from studying. Technology can have good and bad effects let’s use it to our advantage.

 

  • Create a dedicated study time. Make it a routine; routines can help us form lasting habits. This will help you get into a rhythm and be more productive in your studies.

 

  • Leave multitasking behind. I know it’s tempting to watch the latest ‘Empire’ episode while you’re doing your homework, trust me I know, but in order to do your best it is better to concentrate on one task .Your brain can only concentrate on one thing at a time so while you think you need music to study you are only listening to the music or you are only studying and the music doesn’t matter.

 

  • Do your biggest and hardest assignment first. It’s better to do your biggest tasks first whilst your brain is fresh and you are full of energy. When you complete your first task you feel that burst of accomplishment which will boost your motivation and you will breeze through the smaller tasks.

 

Productivity, I believe starts in the root of the home. There are many little things that we can do to help our parents or siblings when we have time at home.  When you arrive home from school or lessons, give your parents a helping hand. You may find chores difficult or tedious, but our parents work just as hard as we do, just for us to eat and get a proper education, so we need to help them out as much as we can.  Simple things can make a big difference.’