News Releases

Sod Turning for New Workforce Research Centre at The UWI

For Release Upon Receipt - July 11, 2012

St. Augustine

“Construction of a Centre for Workforce Research and Development (CWRD) proves vital for our country’s development,” said Professor Clement Sankat, Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus. Professor Sankat said the CWRD will focus on harmonizing, standardizing and coordinating labour market research as he welcomed guests on Tuesday July 10, 2012 at the commemoration of construction of the CWRD, held at The UWI, St. Augustine Campus, at the Office of the Campus Principal, which was part of the sod-turning event.  

The UWI, in partnership with the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training (MTEST) will construct the Centre at the St. Augustine Campus which “embodies the establishment of a facility that will support labour market analysis, human resource programme planning, occupational information systems development and general research on employment and training policies and systems” said Mr. Rodney Amar, Education Projects Specialist at MTEST in his remarks.

The event was attended by numerous stakeholders in the education field, including Senator the Honourable Fazal Karim, Minister of Tertiary Education and Skills Training, who delivered the feature address. Telling the audience that this project had been one of his when he worked at The UWI, Senator Karim said his vision was that it would be an “open door for any student to walk through and find out exactly what opportunities are available in the economy.” Also in attendance were Mr. Jaggernauth Soom, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training, and Mrs. Angela Sinaswee-Gervais, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.   

The Centre was conceptualised in 2008 in the Office of Research Development and Knowledge Transfer, then called the Business Development Office, as a means of creating a regional storehouse of labour market information producing labour market surveys, tracer studies of graduates, skills gap analysis and assessments of demographic and attitudinal profiles of the workforce, particularly as they relate to the movement of skilled persons within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. 

For further information, please contact Mrs. Shelley-Ann Patrick-Harper, Office of the Campus Principal, The UWI, at (868) 662-2002 Ext. 82635 or or contact Mr. Rodney Amar, Higher Education Services Division, MTEST at 623-9922 Ext 337 or

View photos of the Sod Turning ceremony on The UWI's Flickr page.


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences. (Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)