The National Skills Development Centre (NSDC) was officially launched on February 15, 2001, as a quasi non-profit statutory body which functions with a Board of Directors providing insights into various sectors of the economy and guiding policy decisions. The Centre emerged as a holistic solution to the unemployment situation and as a replacement to the previous Youth Skills Training Programme. The NSDC focuses on instilling the necessary attitudes, skills and knowledge into individuals for career success in this new era of work. The organisationís services include a Learning Resource Section, Computer labs for Information Technology training, Career Counselling, Soft Skills and Technical Vocational Skills training, Job training and Placement. The target group includes displaced banana farmers, school dropouts, teenage mothers as well as youth at risk whom the NSDC is mandated to impact on their lives, socially, through their personal development and transforming their lifestyles.

Through its Mission Statement, the Centre is mandated to work together with the support of the private and public sectors to provide information and training services towards developing a skilled, informed and marketable workforce. The principle objectives of the Centre are:

  • to work closely with private and public sector agencies towards creating a skilled and marketable labour force;
  • to offer a range of services and programmes which will help unemployed disadvantaged clients become self-reliant and realize their career potential
  • to provide local, regional and international labour market information to better inform clients' career decisions.

In its efforts to retrain unemployed people to provide a holistic approach to the development of market driven attitudes, skills and knowledge, the NSDC frequently engages in cooperative endeavours with other social partners and funding agencies. In order to ensure that its services are decentralized, the NSDC operates through six (6) satellite centres island-wide. Through annual assessments of the labour market needs in St. Lucia to better guide the development of training programmes and modules, as a strategic approach to skills training and development, the NSDC has implemented over two hundred different technical vocational areas under eight (8) training projects to date as follow:

No. Skills Training Projects Implementation Period No. of People
1 Technical Vocational Training (local TVET funds)

2001 - 2002

2 Basic Needs Trust Fund(BNTF) funded by CDB 2002 - 2003 213
3 Special Framework of Assistance (SFA) 1999 funded by EU 2002 - 2003 550
4 Special Framework of Assistance (SFA) 2000 funded by EU 2003 - 2004 512
5 Hospitality and Construction Skills Training (HCP) funded by Government 2006 - 2007 498
6 Youth Apprenticeship  Programme (YAP) funded by Government 2004 - 2006 167
7 Construction Skills Training for Women (West Coast) Ė St. Lucia funded by BNTF/CDB 2007 - 2009 112
8 Special Framework of Assistance (SFA)  2002 funded by EU 2007 - 2009 329

Special Framework of Assistance (SFA)  2004 funded by EU

2008 - Present 70 and ongoing

POETA funded by OAS

2008 - 2009 157

OECS Skills for Inclusive Growth funded by the World Bank


*Training of Trainers for Training Providers is currently ongoing.

Guided by its vision to become a progressively viable institution, dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for survival in the changing global work environment, the NSDC has refurbished and revitalized the Choiseul Arts and Craft Centre (CACC) to facilitate increased sales. Whilst the Craft component of the CACCís services has been revamped to improve product quality, variety and quantity, a refurbished restaurant will now cater to the needs of the community as well as visitors, in particular Tourists. Current progress in the construction of a Hospitality Training Institution in the Southern zone, according to facility standards, will become NSDCís major thrust towards commercial activities. With limited allocations from Government, these strategic goals will enable the NSDC to meet current demands for paid evening programmes. Additionally, the NSDC is recognized by CISCO and is therefore the sole Centre in St. Lucia for providing certification in IT Essentials and CCNA training, which is recognized both regionally and internationally. All these influence the organizationís capability to meet this milestone - sustainability.

Impact Assessments conducted revealed that the Job Attachment Programme had increased by a 13% rate from 2006. These also indicate that some participants of projects implemented during 1999 to 2004 are still employed under their area of training.
Currently, the NSDC is working with the TVET Accreditation Unit of the Ministry of Education to gain Accreditation, which would facilitate the awarding of Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ). As a result, the organization is in the process of incorporating training standards into future training interventions. This will further improve on the Centreís service quality and its capacity for sustainability, thereby ensuring that the organisationís activities deliver the Vision for the future.


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