Lifelong learning — key competences

Lifelong learning — key competences

The recommendation identifies 8 key competences that are fundamental for each individual in a knowledge-based society.


  • The 8 key competences are the following:
  • Communicating in a mother tongue: ability to express and interpret concepts, thoughts, feelings, facts and opinions both orally and in writing.
  • Communicating in a foreign language: as above, but includes mediation skills (i.e. summarising, paraphrasing, interpreting or translating) and intercultural understanding.
  • Mathematical, scientific and technological competence:sound mastery of numeracy, an understanding of the natural world and an ability to apply knowledge and technology to perceived human needs (such as medicine, transport or communication).
  • Digital competence: confident and critical usage of information and communications technology for work, leisure and communication.
  • Learning to learn: ability to effectively manage one’s own learning, either individually or in groups.
  • Social and civic competences: ability to participate effectively and constructively in one’s social and working life and engage in active and democratic participation, especially in increasingly diverse societies.
  • Sense of initiative and entrepreneurship: ability to turn ideas into action through creativity, innovation and risk taking as well as ability to plan and manage projects.
  • Cultural awareness and expression: ability to appreciate the creative importance of ideas, experiences and emotions in a range of media such as music, literature and visual and performing arts.

Read more about Lifelong Learning

EU programme educational innovation news
Innovative Business Lab in the British Virgin Islands

Innovative Business Lab in the British Virgin Islands

BVI pilot project aims to provide the necessary development assistance to persons seeking to develop new innovative ideas or establish innovative businesses thereby creating new niche markets through the establishment of Innovative Business Lab (ILB). Business incubation, as an economic tool, has become increasingly common around the world for stimulating development of the SME sectors. Innovative Business Lab would provide facilities and services to promote innovation driven small-business growth. Small business incubators have proven to be effective economic development tools. In fact, innovation driven businesses having incubation style support have a dramatically higher rate of survival than an average start-up business does.

Propelling innovation in the economic sector and successful economic diversification in the private sector should be principal tasks of the Innovative Business Lab. With this goal partnership of the public sector with the private sector needs to be enhanced around Innovation as key driver for sustainable growth based on permanent consultations and developing the most adequate legislative, financial and fiscal measures to implement systemic innovation in BVI.

The incubation programme will seek relationships within the region and the local economy, as a means of integrating regionally through the establishment of networks. Such networks will be established through the regional virtual incubator, which is now being developed through the COSME programme for connecting Caribbean incubation centers within OCTs.

incubator British Virgin Islands EU programme Caribbean SME support news Lizette O. George
Managing Innovation Training in TCI

Managing Innovation Training in TCI

A Training Programme in “Managing Innovation” was held in the TCI during February 16-17, 2017. The Managing Innovation workshop was organized by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the COSME Programme, and with Mrs. Alexa Cooper-Grant, TCI Innovation Manager. This two-day workshop was facilitated by Mr. Leopoldo Colombo of Quara Consulting and Training, Argentina. Mr. Colombo is also Convener of the ISO Committee developing the international standard on “Innovation Management Systems”.

Innovation and creativity are intertwined and critical to securing a competitive advantage. However, best practices in innovation have moved far beyond creative brainstorming. The most consistent and successful innovators don’t rely on chance. They have invested in building reliable innovation processes and structures to repeatedly find new opportunities that make sense in terms of value creation.

This training was ideal for BSOs, Government agencies and training institutions as well as innovators, entrepreneurs and management consultants.

EU programme good practice news Turks and Caicos Islands Alexa-Cooper-Grant OCT events
Learning from EC ACP programmes on Science, Research and Innovation

Learning from EC ACP programmes on Science, Research and Innovation

OCTA Innovation was delighted that the Robert Burmanjer Head of Unit in the Knowledge, Performance and Results Task Force of the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Cooperation & Development attended the 2IC. He shared invaluable knowledge of the EC’s research and innovation policies and programmes in African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) nations who are members of the ACP-EU Cotonou Agreement (2000-2020).

Mr Burmanjer emphasised that Research and Innovation are recognised by the European Union in meeting the challenge of nearly all of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals, as they lay the foundations for new approaches, solutions and technologies to identify, clarify and tackle local and global problems.

The proposed European Consensus on Development blueprint for aligning the European Union’s development policy with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) reflects this importance.

Article 86 states that: “the EU and its MS will continue investing in research and development in and for developing countries, including enhancing national innovation systems; to strengthen measurable impacts on progress towards the SDGs through responsible research and innovation approach including education for science.”

Mr Burmanjer described some of the main programmes financed by the European Development Fund over the last 10 years to support Research, Science, Technology and Innovation in ACP countries. They include a project to enhance capacity building in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, demonstrating the added value of a mutually reinforcing capacity building and network development. Under this programme, trainees from Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands also received training at Papua New Guinea’s National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI). A Material Transfer Agreement, ensured that this transfer of knowledge continues in the long-term.

The ‘Improving Innovation Capacities in the Caribbean’ (INVOCAB) programme is building and strengthening educational science capacities in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), specifically Science Education, as an enabler for poverty reduction, growth and socio-economic development of Caribbean countries. It is improving teaching quality in science subjects at both primary and secondary levels, and stimulating interest and performance of students in selected science subjects.

We very appreciate chance of learning of and working with Mr. Robert Burmanjer, EC DEVCO Head of unit so versatile in different aspects of innovation, capacity building and knowledge sharing. You may watch video .

event EU programme news European Commission europeanunion-en EU Innovation Conferences
2IC – Janice Panton to lead OCTA Innovation’s team

2IC – Janice Panton to lead OCTA Innovation’s team

Janice Panton MBE, Monserrat’s Representative in the United Kingdom and Chair of OCTA Innovation, will lead OCTA Innovation’s team at its International Conference in the Azores, 11-12th April.

The EU-funded OCTA Innovation project is supporting the implementation of the most promising and innovative ideas in business, ways of organisation, and the implementation of innovative technologies in the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and across all sectors: agriculture, construction, the creative industry, energy, financial services, fisheries, food processing, IT, administration, tourism, trade and transport.

Ms.Panton’s dedication and energy have greatly contributed to advancing the project and rooting innovation in the OCTs.

OCTA Innovation’s activities have already created an innovation momentum in OCTs which should be stepped up to carry forward the project’s achievements.

The project’s vision is for innovation eco-systems in be in place in all individual OCTs. The establishment of an eco-system requires innovation to be embraced by government and wider society and across all sectors.

Government needs to play a key role in driving innovation through creating an enabling environment for innovation and implementing the required measures and taking initiatives for innovation implementation.





event EU programme news OCTA Jezic von Gesseneck Conferences OCT events Azores
Turks and Caicos Islands to Host Managing Innovation Training – February 16 – 17, 2017

Turks and Caicos Islands to Host Managing Innovation Training – February 16 – 17, 2017

The Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the COSME Programme, will be conducting  a two (2) day Training Programme in “Managing Innovation” on February 16 and 17, 2017.

The Training Programme has been developed by Quara Consulting and Training, Argentina and will be conducted by its Managing Director, Leopoldo Colombo.  Mr. Colombo is also Convener of the ISO Committee developing the international standard on “Innovation Management Systems”.

Innovation and creativity are intertwined and critical to securing a competitive advantage. However, best practices in innovation have moved far beyond creative brainstorming. The most consistent and successful innovators don’t rely on chance. They have invested in building reliable innovation processes and structures to repeatedly find new opportunities that make sense in terms of value creation.

This training is ideal for BSOs, Government agencies and training institutions as well as innovators, entrepreneurs and management consultants.

EU programme educational innovation news Turks and Caicos Islands Alexa-Cooper-Grant
Best Wishes from OCTA Innovation

Best Wishes from OCTA Innovation

Best Wishes to all involved in OCTA Innovation project for a great cooperation in assisting islands on their development by using innovation platform for propelling systemic innovation across the sectors, and through a true public private cooperation.

OCTA Innovation is on the way for making something very unique, OCTs to be one of the examples for having creativity and innovation as drivers of the growth. We believe in this. We are doing this on the ground.

A mix of the tailored technical assistance in wide spectrum of the activities starting by recognising the most attractive particular opportunities, via setting the strategies, to the implementation of the structural and systemic reforms, to implemenation via pilot projects whatever size of the projects are, even small as in our OCTA Innovation project pilot projects are.

This tailored mix with the full ownership of the project on the ground makes the difference. We believe in this, and we are making this difference.



EU programme OCTA feature news Jezic von Gesseneck
eLab 2016 – a highlight of November’s Global Enterprise Week in BVI

eLab 2016 – a highlight of November’s Global Enterprise Week in BVI

Barnes PR – As the Virgin Islands prepares to join 130 countries around the world for the celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2016, observed from November 14 – 20, Barnes PR is once again participating in the international celebration of innovators and job creators by hosting its first regional entrepreneurship conference, eLab 2016, as part of its week of activities.

The two-day conference, held Nov 15-16, will bring entrepreneurs in the creative, retail and professional services fields from Overseas Territories around the region through the major sponsorship from the Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories Small Medium Entrepreneurship (COSME) programme and will provide them with concentrated information in the areas of business development, marketing, intellectual property, accounting, product development and social enterprise.

With the objective of the conference being to strengthen the overall capacity of entrepreneurs to run their businesses more effectively, while providing networking opportunities amongst regional entrepreneurs, GOPA Key Expert and Team Leader for COSME, Diana Hendrickson-Fleming believes that the conference provides the perfect opportunity to fulfill the mandate of the COSME programme.

“With COSME’S overall objective being to contribute to the sustainable and climate-resilient economic diversification and prosperity of Caribbean OCTs, Global Entrepreneurship Week and this conference in general, will provide us with the opportunity to provide entrepreneurs from OCTs with the tools to enhance their businesses,” she said.

Participating entrepreneurs will be given the chance to inspire and share insights from their entrepreneurship journey with talks around the Territory, something, founder of Barnes PR, Sachkia Barnes, believes is essential to preserving the spirit of entrepreneurship.

“As GEW continues to grow in its existence in the Virgin Islands, at Barnes PR we believe that the week of activities should be aimed at feeding and developing the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in the Territory, by allowing young people and all aspiring entrepreneurs to learn from the struggles and triumphs of others.”

Barnes said the week of activities also provides a means of showing communities the value of entrepreneurs. “While a big part of what we have been doing over the past three years serves to encourage entrepreneurs, we also see the efforts as a way to encourage community members, our customers and potential customers, to understand the value – whether it be a service, products, innovation or jobs, we offer our immediate communities.”

Other events for GEW VI 2016 include: a panel discussion on the Importance of Entrepreneurship in Developing Economies on November 16 at the Eileen L. Parsons auditorium on the H Lavity Stoutt Community College campus and Ideas and Cocktails, a pop-up shop and networking mixer for entrepreneurs held November 17 at the JR O’Neal Botanical Gardens.

Registration for the conference is underway and interested entrepreneurs can register at where a registration fee of $100 dollars will be charged, which covers all conference material and a reserved vending space for the participants’ business at Ideas and Cocktails. Registration ends November 8th, 2016.

creative industry British Virgin Islands EU programme SME support news
Building on EU Funded MPASSE

Building on EU Funded MPASSE

The Turks and Caicos National Trust was given the opportunity to participate in and to become a beneficiary of a project co-funded by the European Commission titled ‘Management of Protected Areas to Support Sustainable Economics (MPASSE).’ The MPASSE was a trans-regional venture between three UK Overseas Caribbean Territories Trusts, BVI Parks Trust, National Trust of the Cayman Islands and Turks and Caicos National Trust.

Whilst the overall objective was a common core, that being to fulfill international environmental agreements in the three territories by way of supporting sustainable development, each entity had autonomy to design activities to deliver the five results set by the conditions of the project agreement:

1.     Improved eco-tourism facilities

2.     Improved environmental awareness among citizenry

3.     Improved conservation measures

4.     Implementation of documented Environmental Management Plans

5.     Improved Institutional Capacity

For its set of activities, the Turks and Caicos National Trust (TCNT) management did not have a difficult task with selecting designs. TCNT had several projects dating from 2004-2008 which could not be implemented due to lack of resources. Activities were simply extracted from these concepts and fitted into the MPASSE.

Implementation of the MPASSE was certainly not without challenge! Delays and uncertainties were experienced by all three beneficiaries of the MPASSE, so much so that the European Commission decided to extend the project completion date from December 2012 to December 31st 2014.

It has been almost eighteen months since the conclusion of the project. And since the Turks and Caicos National Trust has just commenced a new institutional year April 1st, 2016, it prompted cause for reflection. And whilst it seem as though there have been more speculation and criticism of the Trust by TCIG over the past twenty-four months rather than recognition of the valuable contribution towards sustainable development and conservation management carried out by the organisation, there are indeed milestones to celebrate.

Life itself is filled with ups and downs. And yes, just like any other company, the TCNT has experienced valleys and hills. But while we were in the valley we could see the hill ahead and never lost hope nor focus. TCNT leadership always recognized that the source of strength and wisdom is the Almighty.

A major achievement through the MPASSE project was the construction of the Little Water Cay visitor centre. The centre, completed in 2013 is a much welcomed facility by both visitors and staff of the Trust. School children can now interact with conservation wardens at the centre during field trips in a comfortable environment. Since the construction of the centre, we have noticed a gradual increase in visitation by school children. The centre also has an inventory of locally made souvenirs. Visitors looking for authentic TCI handmade gifts and souvenirs can browse through our inventory to purchase that special item while waiting on their boat to depart. Within this institutional year, management will begin focusing on introducing additional guided tours and other organized activities on Little Water Cay. Refurbishment to sections of the boardwalks and installation of interpretive panels were also carried out under the project.

The field-road/nature trail to the Bird Rock Point Heritage Fields (111 acres) was cleared, providing access into this beautiful natural habitat. The Trust has plans to construct a small rustic facility at the entrance from which the staff can manage visitor activity and items can be exhibited.

We are also quite pleased to state that through the MPASSE, the organisation was able to refurbish the thatched roof on the slave cabin replica, construct a kitchen replica and install interpretive panels at Cheshire Hall Plantation Historic Site. Similar refurbishments were accomplished at the Wade’s Green Plantation Historic Site on North Caicos, including works to the lintels, sections of the walls, stairs and steps, and improvements to the carriage way.

In addition to infrastructure, promotional materials advertising heritage sites were designed and printed, educational materials published, the first edition of the heritage register produced and conservation management plans for Little Water Cay, Bird Rock Point, Cheshire Hall and Wade’s Green developed and are being implemented.

Yet, another positive through the MPASSE worth mentioning is the strengthening of institutional capacity to deliver the results of the project. During implementation, the Trust was able to hire one additional staff in the Education Outreach and Marketing Unit and covered a percentage of staff time at the heritage sites with project funds.

We again would like to express appreciation to the European Commission for the opportunity to benefit from the co-funding, and gratitude is extended to our international partner, RSPB, local partners PWD, Planning Department, DECR and the Tourist Board for their support.

In looking back, for the TCNT, the MPASSE was intended to be a catalyst to propel the Trust forward. Did we achieve this objective? We certainly have. That is why we can say, ‘we are building on foundations laid.’


Prepared by:

Ethlyn Gibbs-Williams

Executive Director

Turks & Caicos National Trust

EU programme news Turks and Caicos Islands Alexa-Cooper-Grant