As Government moves forward to foster a culture of innovation and creativity the United Progressive Party (UPP) administration has once again stressed its commitment to developing creative work.
Speaking at the opening ceremony for a photography workshop with acclaimed photographer Professor Janice Levy, Minister of Telecommunications, Science and Technology Dr. Hon. Edmond Mansoor said as the government looks to diversify the economy the creative industry is one area that can contribute significantly to the country’s GDP.
Just last week, Government passed the Tourism and Business Special Incentives Act 2013 in the Upper House of parliament. Under the Act a number of concessions are available for qualifying activities under creative industries. This includes production of films and film scripts, videos and sound recordings, digital media productions, photography, the publishing of books, textbooks, atlases and maps, comics, engravings, postcards, musical recording productions, magazine publishing, television production, festival and carnival, theatrical productions and so on.
Training at the new GATE ICT Cadet facility is expected to continue to gain momentum over the next few months as the facility continues to roll out training programs that will impart new skills to young people.
“We also want to create some avenues for young people that can put them on a pathway to self-entrepreneurship.” Dr Mansoor said.
“ I think at the end of the day, what is important in this facility is that we are imparting skills sufficiently rapidly enough, so that young people can make up their minds what career paths they want to take on. I am confident that within a year or two we would have a very good barometer on our level of success.”
Prime Minister Dr. Hon. Baldwin Spencer said the workshop on photography is just a small part of a larger picture that the Government is seeking to roll out on a continued basis.
“We are living in a world that is rapidly changing and the technological age is very much with us. In order for us to be relevant now and in the foreseeable future it is going to be important particularly for our young people to be able to understand and equip themselves to the ever-changing dynamics that is taking place in the world of technology. “Prime Minister Spencer said.
Professor Levy will facilitate two workshops during her stay in Antigua. The ICT cadet photography workshop entitled “Learning to see” emphasizes technical and critical photographic skills. While the professional photography workshop intended for intermediate, advanced, and professional photographers will through lectures, demonstrations, and hands on participation, teach technically competent, conceptually innovative, and marketable ways to make photographs.
“My goal in the next couple of weeks is to teach the young people at GATE and the professionals that will be taking part in the workshop, how to take those photographs that will be competitive, interesting and marketable to the rest of the world and show people how to disseminate that work in a way that will be effective and interesting.” Professor Levy said.
The ICT Cadet programme, is an exciting opportunity for young people interested in working in information technology related fields, to acquire technical skills, as well as gain valuable workplace experience.
Cadets get hands-on training in the New Media Unit, in areas that cover video filming, video editing, web journalism, graphic design, photography, social media management and new media techniques. Cadets also undergo intensive hands on training in computer repair and upgrades, computer diagnostics, and preventive maintenance. The cadets also learn to master the operating systems of various ICT devices, inventory control, data entry, assist in the roll out of new projects, and provide administrative support to existing and new community projects.