New course for workforce development facelift

  • Change of plans: Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

    Change of plans: Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

A plan to hire a PR agency to help the Government’s workforce development department boost its image has been dropped.

Businesses were asked to submit tenders last October for a campaign designed to generate a better image for the service.

A government spokeswoman said: “The Department of Workforce Development has decided not to proceed with the contract regarding a public education and awareness campaign for the department. As such, no vendor was selected.

“Instead, the department will look to utilise internal resources to promote the department’s services.”

The four-month project was due to launch last year and a request for quotation was published on the Government’s website.

Companies were invited to submit quotes for a “public education and awareness campaign”.

Targets for the scheme included roadshows, career fairs and “at least one positive story” a week in news outlets and social media.

The RFQ said the department wanted to “demonstrate to the community that the department was making positive steps to ensure people were employed, trained and certified”.

Other aims included improving the public perception and image of the department, improving knowledge of its services and promoting the department as a one-stop career centre. Notes explained that the Department of Workforce Development’s two main roles were training and career development, which covered help to find work.

The department also runs an apprenticeship programme and regulates certification standards in four job sectors — electrical, welding, automotive mechanics and landscaping.

Vendors were offered the chance to submit tenders between October 23 and November 2, with the campaign due to run from last December until the end of March.

In a document added after the RFQ was posted online, one potential provider voiced concerns that the turnaround would be too tight.

The vendor asked for clarification on the project’s launch date and said: “We are afraid this will not be enough time for development and planning in order for us to deliver a quality product.”

Lovitta Foggo, the Minister of Labour, Community Affairs and Sport, told MPs in November that the workforce development team was working on a public-relations campaign.

She explained in a House of Assembly statement at the time: “It is the intent to continue to collaborate with the Department of Communications to develop a marketing strategy that will support and drive the work of the department.

“This strategy will focus on greater visibility and engagement with employers and the community through outreach, satellite training, increased education and awareness, career fairs, town hall meetings and social-media campaigns.”

Ms Foggo said then a marketing strategy would be completed in December “for immediate implementation”.

A government spokeswoman was unable to confirm last week how many submissions were received in response to the RFQ.

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Published Jan 14, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 14, 2019 at 6:25 am)

New course for workforce development facelift

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