Public servants to be 'upskilled' as part of transformation process

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Public servants to be 'upskilled' as part of transformation process

Saturday, October 12, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — As part of the Transformation of the Public Sector, many public servants will be trained and 'upskilled'.

“We have trained and certified 80 change managers [so far], and in this month, we will be doing another 60 change managers,” Executive Director of the Transformation Implementation Unit (TIU), Maria Thompson Walters, said at a JIS 'Think Tank' on Wednesday, October 2.

She explained that change is important, and it requires management.

“We don't just evolve in an unstructured way, and so we thought it was really important for the public sector to have this skill (change management), rather than to keep importing it every time we're going through an exercise like this,” Thompson Walters said.

She explained that Change Management is essentially [the act of] taking people through all of the various stages of change.

“Your first instinct when someone opposes change may be that the person is a troublemaker. However, you don't shut them down and just concentrate on those people who are with you, but you recognise that the persons may just be voicing what everyone else is thinking, and if we are able to help persons to understand what these changes bring, it makes the change process easier,” the executive director said.

In addition to Change Managers, Thompson Walters said that other persons will also be trained in systems and software.

“A part of this programme deals with what we call upskilling public officers, so we look at the skills and requirements for the public sector for the future to ensure that public officers have an opportunity to upskill themselves in this area,” she said.

“So far, we've done upskilling of persons from the technical offices in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, starting with a statistical and forecasting software called 'Stata'. We are also looking to upskill persons in Human Resources (HR),” she added.

Thompson Walters said that an employee engagement conference is being organised by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JDBC) for later this month, to which the TIU has sponsored 15 persons.


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