Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining (STEM), Hon. Julian Robinson, has underscored the Government’s commitment to the information communication technology (ICT) sector, noting that several initiatives would be implemented to improve training, access and the country’s global ranking in the industry.
Addressing the opening of a Cisco Network Regional Academy Conference, at the Cardiff Hall Hotel and Spa, in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, on January 26, Mr. Robinson said that in today’s ultra-connected world, there is no better way for the country to prepare its people than by educating and training them in ICT.
“The Government recognises that ICT is the great equaliser in today’s world, and that even with access to the most sophisticated technology, we cannot capitalise on technology unless our people are not just aware of the opportunities, but have the skills needed to compete globally,” he added.
Citing statistics which state that Internet access within the country is now at 55 per cent; mobile penetration at 110 per cent, and the island is ranked 15th among countries in the world with top broadband speeds, the State Minister said the Government is committed to improving those standings.
He argued that the ICT sector presents the greatest opportunities for job creation through investment in the sector, adding that the skills and talent are readily available in the country. Mr. Robinson also noted that expansion in the industry would contribute greatly to growth in the economy.
The State Minister, who has responsibility for ICT, emphasised that the Government is committed to improving the country’s standing in the sector worldwide, and to take it back to number one in the Caribbean. Cisco is an American multinational corporation that designs and sells consumer electronics, networking, voice and communications technology and services.
Cisco Networking Academy is part of the Cisco Systems education initiative, which sponsors a line of IT professional certification for Cisco products, and provides training for these certifications via a portal, which is managed locally by the Heart College of Innovation and Technology (HCIT).
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter