Regional

14 UWI Western Ja Campus students graduate from animation course

Thursday, February 20, 2014    

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MONTEGO BAY, St James

The Government continues to equip young Jamaicans with the skills to tap into the global animation industry, with 14 students graduating from the 'Animate Jamaica' certificate programme last week, during a ceremony held at the Western Jamaica Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI).

They were part of the first batch of students to participate in the six-month course conducted by the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication (CARIMAC), in partnership with local animation studio Reel Rock GSW and Canadian software company ToonBoom.

Twenty-eight students graduated during a similar ceremony held on February 8 at the UWI campus in St Andrew.

Junior Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes Abrahams, who delivered the keynote address, congratulated the graduates for successfully completing the programme.

She noted that the global animation outsourcing industry is estimated at US$68 billion and is growing at approximately 12.5 per cent annually, making the sector one of the growth industries of the 21st Century.

The high level of demand, she said, could be attributed to the continued production of animation for the entertainment sector, which accounts for 74 per cent of total revenues.

She noted that locally, there is strong Government support for the development of the animation industry, and for the industry to grow, "we must now develop, not only the required talent, but also a sufficient number of animation studios, at least 10, with production capacity of a minimum of 50 professionals each".

"With a large pool of young people talented in the visual arts, I believe we have the necessary human resources in place," she argued.

Ffolkes Abrahams also pointed to the need for "regulatory measures to standardise operations, the necessary investments to scale up the industry and educational and training programmes to meet the necessary workforce demand".

She committed to set aside money from her Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to support students, who want to study animation at UWI.

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