The Work Online Dominica Cohort three graduated after completing a 12 week course of rigorous training sessions.

The graduation ceremony took place at the Jungle Bay Resort and Spa on Wednesday, June 22 2022.

Work Online Dominica is an initiative by the Government of Dominica through the Ministry of Public Works and the Digital Economy, in collaboration with ISRA-AID, DSC and the UNDP.

The goal of this initiative is to teach professionals over the course of 12 weeks, on how to get started working online, find new sources of income, and increase financial stability.

Considering the present covid-19 economic climate, the Work Online Dominica was created to guide and train participants on the roadmap for accessing an alternative pathway of generating income online by leveraging and building their skills. This is a part of a larger plan to assist Dominicans with taking advantage of the global job market and contribute to Dominica’s digital economy agenda.

Over one hundred and eighty individuals have completed the course and many are gainfully employed as freelancers providing for themselves and their families.

Minister for Public Works and the Digital Economy, Hon. Cassanni Laville, says the Government of Dominica is committed to advancing the digital economy. He says with this transformation of Dominica’s economy, Government will seek to drive economic growth and provide convenience to citizens looking to do business in Dominica.

“In 2020 we started work with ISRA-AID and UNDP on various initiatives. Soon thereafter, we conducted a digital readiness assessment to understand our environment, to understand the challenges and the opportunities in this sector. Now we are proud, very proud in fact, to have our National Digital Strategy which highlights clearly our road map to achieve our digital transformation,” Hon. Laville stated.

The Digital Economy Minister pledged Government’s continued commitment to the digital transformation.

“As a Government we will continue to lead this effort at transformation in this revolution right now. In so many other sectors we continue to be committed. In health care we expect to invest about 8 million US dollars to transform health care. We no longer want to see our health care professionals being bugged down with too much clerical work. Doctors, nurses, and everyone else need to focus on administering care and we are at the point where we need to use technology to ensure that we have the health information management systems digitalized completely. So the focus will be completely on the administration of health care,” the Minister noted.

Minister Laville expressed gratitude to the partner agencies who have made the Work Online Dominica programme a success.

“We are also proud of ISRA-AID and UNDP and not only that we are eternally thankful to them for their hard work, their commitment, their sacrifice in our efforts to ensure that we build capacity here in Dominica. And to ensure that there are digital skills that are transferred to you and there’s the technology transformation and adoption that we need to have a thriving society. As you see there have been aligned with us to embrace this organizational change that is required in this revolution so we thank them for that. I could not find better partners in leading this transformation that ISRA-AID and UNDP,” Hon. Laville added.

Country Manager of ISRA-Aid, Ms. Nicole King, says the opportunities afforded to citizens through technology should not be taken for granted. She says technology should create opportunities for people and ISRA-AID is committed to give Dominicans access to technology.

“No one should left behind just because of their age, gender, social background or geographical location. For us to achieve a successful and inclusive digital transformation, we need to put not just communities but people first. We need a digitally skilled population and highly skilled digital professionals. That is where Work Online Dominica plays an important role because we have worked to amplify your digital capacity to become more resilient,” Ms. King stated.

Head of the United Nations Development Programme Dominica Project Office, Luis Fransisco Thais, says the Government of Dominica has taken bold steps to prepare the country for what the digital future holds.

“Over the past months and years the Government has piloted the Digital Readiness Assessment tool, held country wide consultations on digital transformation, worked upon a digital transformation strategy and is currently accelerating the use of digital technology in ICT through countless Government sectors, programmes and initiatives while building a digital Government infrastructure through its Caribbean Digital Transformation Project. Moreover, Dominica’s digital transformation strategy is prioritizing the development of a curriculum for basic digital skills onward to the more advanced digital skills requiring vocational education and specialized ICT skills,” Mr. Thais explained.

Some of the graduates shared their experiences. Josiah Johnson says this programme has changed his life as he has already secured a job online.  He encouraged other young persons to take full advantage of the opportunity when cohort four of the Work Online Dominica is ready and recruiting.

“My experience now is to encourage anybody that is interested in the programme to come onboard because it is a very good programme. It will help you transform your mind from I can’t to I can. So I will tell any and everybody to come on board. Work right now for me is where my internet is,” he added.

The Dominica Labour Party Administration continues to provide opportunities for young people to further develop themselves financially.