Fri | Aug 12, 2022

Mother and daughter find value in Skills for the Future programme

Published:Saturday | July 2, 2022 | 12:07 AM
Carmen Brooks (left) and her daughter, Amanda.
Carmen Brooks (left) and her daughter, Amanda.

Carmen and Amanda Brooks are among the over 600 participants who have completed the Skills for the Future digital literacy programme, but they’re not your usual pair of students. This mother-daughter team went on a journey of completing the course together and in the process developed new skills while strengthening their relationship.

Carmen first introduced the programme to her daughter Amanda after learning about it on a radio programme. She immediately thought about how beneficial the course would be for her daughter, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted traditional learning methods.

“I thought it was a good opportunity at the time, especially with the way how COVID-19 was affecting our education system. I also thought it would enhance her resume,” said Carmen.

However, shortly after her daughter started the course, Carmen joined her on a learning experience that would turn out to be fun and an extraordinary bonding opportunity for both women.

“It was a motivational and fun experience,” said Amanda of doing the course with her mother. “We motivated each other to keep going, reminding one another of the benefits of the programme.”

Carmen added that, “It made our relationship better the hours she and I spent encouraging each other. It was a fun and supportive experience.”

The Skills for The Future programme is a collaboration between the Flow Foundation and the Mona School of Business and Management through the Caribbean School of Data. It’s a free 12-week programme for persons 16 to 60 years old, offering training in digital literacy and data management so they can compete in the growing digital environment.

Amanda, who now works as a digital clerk, said she benefited greatly from the programme by improving her digital literacy.

“I learnt various topics ranging from Microsoft Excel, SEO development, data governance and web development. Being able to learn these gives me the push I need to boost my resume and knowledge in general,” Amanda stated.

With Amanda’s renewed hope and optimism, this is how Carmen imagined impacting her daughter’s life when she first learnt about the programme. Her parental instincts saw the value in the Skills for the Future programme and in the process she too gained valuable skills that will help her in her job as a student assistant at the University of Technology Jamaica.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to improve myself in areas I never thought I would be doing. This programme has taught me to be more assertive in areas I was timid in before,” said Carmen.

The Skills for the Future Programme has a goal of training 4,000 Jamaicans in digital literacy. Graduates of the programme can further their education by applying for the Training for Professionals programme, another educational platform offered by the Flow Foundation.