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New programmes at TAMCC for Creatives

Orlando Romain - Advisor in the Ministry of Economic Development and Planning

The office of Creative Affairs in collaboration with TAMCC has launched a pilot project program to introduce specialised courses for the creative sectors, according to Advisor in the Ministry of Economic Development and Planning, Orlando Romain.

Appearing on GBN’s “Beyond The Headlines” programme on Monday night, the senior executive member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration said that the course was one of the four main recommendations coming out of the “Unleashed” conference to give a boost to the Creative Economy.

With capacity building being one of the recommendations, Romain said the government felt it was the appropriate time as there was an appetite among the young people, as well as those elder persons who are in the creative sector to introduce those courses where they can pretty much improve their capacity.

He identified the two new courses for the semester at TAMCC as ‘Introduction to Entertainment Law’ and ‘Entrepreneurship for Creative and Cultural Practitioners.’

He said that both programmes are aimed at providing an environment where Creatives can understand the business aspect of what they do by elaborating that most Creatives are quite technical and competent in their crafts but when it comes to the business aspect of things, intellectual properties and their rights, there are some deficiencies.

“We felt that would be a great introduction point to ensure that we move creatives from being hobbyists to being business owners,” he added.

Romain made clear that participants in these singular courses will be rewarded with a certificate on completion.

However, he said the plan for next year is to introduce a full Associate’s degree course and make the credits on those courses transferable to the Associate’s degree.

The Government Advisor pointed out that the overall goal is to see the creative economy starting to take fruit and that the Ministry of Economic Development wants to ensure that there is an increase in employment and revenues through that sector.

He said that there is a very economic-driven focus on the creative sector hence the choice for those two particular programmes to be on the TAMCC curriculum.

He felt that a full Associate’s degree in cultural and creative industries from the business, practical, and legal courses will equip creatives to enter that workspace and be able to function at a high capacity.

According to Romain, the associate’s degree course will teach primarily the business aspect of the creative industries and highlighted the three different areas of focus (The business type course, the practical skills course, and the policy and macro-economic course).

He stated that those three tiers of training are being looked at to ensure that the island will always have the expertise who can help nurture the creative industry.

“We do have the expertise who can provide those business support services to the creative sector and we do have highly trained creatives themselves who can produce the quality of work and products that we feel can survive in the creative sector,” he said.

Romain disclosed that since these programmes are new the government decided to take a phased approach to the introduction of the courses at the college.

“This semester will allow us to assess the outcomes of those particular courses and where we need to pivot. We do believe that for the associate’s degree we have coming up, we do have adequate skill sets here to train persons but when it comes to the individual skill sets like film and so forth we will be looking at alternative means of getting that expertise on the island or whether it is we partner with other universities or colleges internationally to ensure that we do have a high level of experts to train our creatives,” he said.

Minister of Education David Andrew who also took part in the GBN programme, indicated that they have already engaged the governing Council of TAMCC with the idea to have the curriculum reviewed, to assess the curriculum carefully, and the relevance of what is being taught.

“We want to make sure that all of the employment opportunities that exist can be filled by the programmes that are offered at our premier tertiary level institution post-secondary. So yes we are going to have a stronger direction in terms of what we recommend to be included as part of the strategy going forward in collaboration with the industry so we don’t miss it,” he said.

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