UNDP urges Caribbean region to leverage remote work and digitization for job opportunities, economic growth
ROSEAU, DOMINICA — Thanks to a digital transformation programme, some 80 Dominicans were able to modernize their labour and secure digital jobs.
The Work Online Dominica Programme was supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, in partnership with the government and IsraAid.
This “cutting-edge initiative” aimed to build the skills of participants, enabling them to “generate income in the gig economy”.
According to the UNDP, “The third cohort graduated 60 participants and in total, Work Online Dominica has to date graduated 165, of which 50 percent have already landed a freelance job.”
Caribbean jobs online
This is not the first organization to tout the benefits the Caribbean region can gain from embracing remote work.
Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE) CEO Christine Ntim, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Governor Timothy Antoine and the Caribbean Export Development Agency have all urged locals to seek out remote opportunities for gainful employment.
This is especially the case now as many Caribbean nations are still recovering from a period of extremely slow economic growth due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although many regional countries are starting to see promising signs of recovery, the Caribbean as a whole is still grappling with unemployment.
As such, these business leaders have encouraged Caribbean citizens to get creative and apply themselves in the digital arena as the world embraces remote work as a result of the pandemic.
The UNDP likewise noted, “The way we work has drastically changed over the past two years, and in order for individuals and businesses to continue to succeed, they need to evolve.”
Digital transformation will create more jobs
The UNDP Barbados & the Eastern Caribbean has joined the cause in encouraging Caribbean policymakers, governing bodies, organizations and citizens to embrace the benefits of remote job opportunities.
It also emphasized the potential for business growth through digitization.
“The post-COVID-19 work environment is comparably different to the pre-pandemic state of affairs,” it noted.
“Approximately 50 percent of the global workforce is working online — a 35 percent increase from before 2020.
“This shift can be leveraged by the Caribbean to facilitate increased business [and] lower startup costs.”
Resident Representative of UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Limya Eltayeb added that programmes like Work Online Dominica “not only allow persons to leverage digital skills and tools to eke out their livelihoods, but it provides beneficiaries with transferable skills which allow their capacity for employability or the generation of profits to increase”.