(A Community Development Project of the CDC)
Our nation’s population of underprivileged youth and poverty stricken sectors of the economy is characterized, in most cases, by high levels of school drop-outs, low moral among youths and their family units, and a self-perceived inability to perform productive income earning activities requiring basic skills and educational background. Socially-deprived individuals and young adults in the low income communities tend to be excluded from the everyday developments and activities of the business and industry sectors due to their lack of relevant business skills and exposure, needed training, and to being unaware and unfamiliar with simple business automation, computing, electronic or digital systems, operations and procedures.
Today’s business and technology emphases on ‘ease of use’ and ‘result oriented’ work skills provide significant development and educational value. A basic awareness of the technology, an understanding of how it works, and a general appreciation of its applications in the business environment (i.e., how to use it), will give a needed head-start to any individual in rising to employment opportunities.
Access to, relevant exposure and training towards a basic understanding of computing systems and modern technology provide an effective and dynamic means for buffering or bridging education gaps for the under-educated and underprivileged. Also evident is a means whereby individuals can be supported and trained to develop skills to productively interface with and enter the business sector, or to independently pursue income earning activities through the provision of numerous services including data-entry, business processes and artistic pursuits; design, production and promotion of marketable materials and numerous other income generating and self employable business activities.
The BTSD Project focuses on enhancing and developing the awareness, familiarity and skills-base of target groups in modern computing and business automation environments, thereby allowing them to confidently and effectively interface with the business sector, at the same time building their awareness and potential to equal opportunity in this environment.
To create better awareness, understanding and familiarity with modern computing, business automation systems and technological developments among under-educated and underprivileged youths, thereby enhancing their opportunities and income earning potential and facilitating successful interface and empowerment in the modern business sector.
The BTSD project is an integrated training module of a wider social and work skills development programme of the CDC. This module focuses on enhancing skills in modern business automation, technology and computing systems and will facilitate, at minimum, entry level understanding and more confident interaction with the modern business and automation environment.
It is intended that this will improve employable skills development and income generating opportunities in the short-term, and provide a foundation for the longer-term progressive development of the individual. Benefits include:
- increased economic and business-related skills among socially deprived and underprivileged youths;
- greater familiarity and knowledge of modern business systems which will enhance opportunities for employment in public and private sector agencies, business organisations and industry;
- enhanced opportunity and access to business and industry training and employment.
APPROACH / METHODOLOGY
The acquisition of relevant computing and other digital equipment and automation systems will provide the necessary base for the implementation of the BTSD Project activities which include:
- Introduction to basic business concepts and language and a working understanding of their relative meaning, uses and application in day to day social and economic activity;
- Awareness and understanding of social and business etiquette, interaction and relational courtesies, business norms and ethics, and development of leadership and entrepreneurship skills;
- Exposure to economic and business environments such as Banking and Communication systems, office facilities and operation, advantages/disadvantages of utilising various business and financial instruments; electronic and digital business and related information systems (digital & electronic card systems, data storage, etc.); how they work and benefits of its use; and
- Practical and hands-on exercises to build awareness skills for the uses, operation and maintenance of business equipment and accessories (Fax machines, computing equipment and accessories, digital equipment, telephones, etc.).
Completion of the BTSD training module will provide to trainees:
- entry level employable skills, exposure and access to new income earning and employment opportunities;
- a starting point to embark on higher level and focused skills training, business education and other career development programmes;
- access to available programme integration efforts of the Community Development Corporation (CDC), which may provide placement in continuing education and vocational training programmes of other community development groups, government agencies, NGO and private sector collaborative efforts;
- a stepping stone to other individual skills training and community development programmes.