The Financial Services Implementation Unit (FSIU) has taken its engage the population campaign to the Territory's teachers.
FSIU Director, Mr. Kedrick Malone delivered a presentation on BVI Forward to about 200 teachers who attended the Summer Institute ahead of the start of the new school year. A similar presentation was delivered to about 50 teachers on Virgin Gorda.
In his presentation, Mr. Malone provided a definition of financial services, background information on the evolution of the industry in the BVI and the role of teachers in the BVI Forward campaign.
Mr. Malone said, "As educators, you are critical to the effort to build capability among persons in the BVI. As teachers, you interface with students regularly and as such, you are a direct conduit for the transfer of information about financial services with a view to stimulating greater interest in the industry and to facilitate better awareness of what it entails and the opportunities it provides."
The teachers were provided with a handout created by the FSIU which outlines ten basic facts they need to know about the industry. These same ten facts were the focus of a recent newspaper column published by the FSIU in both local newspapers and which is now available for download on the BVI Forward website, www.bviforward.vg.
In the interactive session which followed, teachers asked several questions on various aspects of the financial services to which Mr. Malone provided answers that enabled greater clarity. There was recognition of the need for greater collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Culture on how the education system can adequately build capacity among locals to take up positions in the financial services industry.
The presentations to teachers formed part of ongoing efforts by the FSIU to engage various sections of the population. Taxi drivers also benefitted from similar sessions in June.
Initiative Sponsor, Mrs. Lorna Smith, OBE underscored the importance of the BVI Forward campaign being all-inclusive.
She said, “We cannot stress enough the importance of increasing awareness of financial services among everyone. No one is to be left out of this strategic effort to ensure a greater connection to the industry that provides the standard of living we enjoy here in the BVI. The future of this industry depends largely on the level of ownership we see reflected in the general population. These are challenging times for the industry and its future relies on all of us.”
Community groups and other interested organisations are invited to request similar presentations for their membership to gain a better understanding of financial services and how the industry operates as well as the opportunities it provides.
Presentations and other forms of community outreach through electronic, digital and print media are key elements in the engage the population initiative. The BVI Forward campaign includes a bi-weekly column in the local newspapers and a monthly television programme, aired on JTV Channel 55. There is also an informative website that includes a section titled “Financial Services 101”, which provides answers to several questions about the financial industry in plain, simple language to promote greater understanding. BVI Forward is also present on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.