Hallmark Day for Services Sector in Saint Lucia
Services sector workers in Saint Lucia are now better positioned to export their skills around the Caribbean and beyond. On November 5, 2015, at a ceremony in Gros Islet, nine Saint Lucian professionals were officially conferred the designation of Certified Management Consultant. At the same event, 23 spa therapists received the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) Certificates in Massage Therapy - Level 3, allowing them free movement in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, a benefit afforded to CVQ holders. “Our service providers are now empowered with the necessary qualifications and have acquired a level of confidence to compete regionally and globally," said Yvonne Agard, Executive Director of the Saint Lucia Coalition of Service Industries, following the ceremony. This boost to the services sector in Saint Lucia is part of a USD667,600 project funded by the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Development Trust Fund (CARTFund). Through CARTFund, the United Kingdom' Department for International Development (DFID), allocated GBP10 million to increase Caribbean trade with Europe and intra-regional trade in 2010. The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) administers CARTFund. “The Saint Lucia experience is just one of many CARTFund success stories from within CDB' Borrowing Member Countries. Through CARTFund, 32 projects across 14 countries have been implemented, providing the private sector with access to new markets and strengthening the export potential of firms and sectors in the Caribbean Region," said Edward Greene, Division Chief, Technical Cooperation Division, CDB. 10 in 10 for Saint Lucia The Certified Management Consultants received their designations on the 10th anniversary of the Association of Management Consultants of Saint Lucia, bringing the total number of CMCs on the island to 10. With this accreditation, an international competency-based designation, the consultants can now practice and work in 45 countries around the world. The Saint Lucian CMCs have expertise in areas ranging from accounting to Small and Medium Enterprise development to trade negotiations. Agnes Francis (right), a newly designated Certified Management Consultant, receives a lapel pin during a ceremony in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia on November 6, 2015. Francis is one of nine consultants trained through funding provided by CARTFund, which is administered by the Caribbean Development Bank. Freedom to Move Throughout CARICOM Having received their CVQ Certificates in Massage Therapy - Level Three, the 23 spa therapists now have the opportunity to expand their businesses and boost their income beyond the shores of Saint Lucia. “Health and Wellness is a sector with tremendous potential for growth. Many of our practitioners in the field are highly skilled with years of experience, but lacked formal qualification. The newly acquired CVQ Certification closes that gap and positions them for opportunities in the region," said Agard. Spa professionals display their certificates during a ceremony in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia on November 6, 2015. Having received the Caribbean Vocational Qualification Certificate in Message Therapy - Level 3, they now have the benefit of free movement throughout CARICOM to boost their income and build their businesses. Through CSME, the newly qualified spa professionals can travel throughout CARICOM without restriction, contributing to the economic development and overall global competitiveness of the Caribbean Region. One objective of CARTFund is to generate momentum on the implementation of CSME. The Fund spans 14 economies in the Caribbean Region with a combined population of 24 million people, from as far west as Belize to Barbados in the east.