Blockchain To Solve Bahamas’ ‘Major Workforce Waste’

Tribune 242: “The Government’s first-ever use of blockchain technology will tackle what was yesterday branded “an enormous waste of human capital”.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), unveiling a $200,000 ‘technical co-operation’ project, revealed that the Minnis administration plans to deploy the technology as a way to determine the success of an apprenticeship programme targeted at 1,350 Bahamians aged between 16-40 years-old, and who are either unemployed or school leavers.

Documents obtained by Tribune Business reveal that the Government is also looking to blockchain to combat the widespread problem of lost/missing student records and certifications, which the IDB described as a major constraint to developing a skilled, productive Bahamian workforce.

“Currently, the certification process in the Bahamas lacks technological advances,” the IDB report said. “Today, student records management is a lengthy and cumbersome process. Students do not own their own records of achievement, depending on issuing institutions to verify their achievements throughout their lives. “This results not only in a verification process that can last weeks or months, and involves hours of human labour and (fallible) judgment, but also creates inefficiencies in placing new students and processing transfer equivalencies.“In extreme cases, when the issuing institution goes out of business, loses their records or is destroyed due to natural disasters, students have no way of verifying their achievements and must often start from nothing. This results in an enormous waste of human capital.”

The IDB report said the Bahamas was now “in a singular position to highlight the value of blockchain-based digital records for both students and institutions”, with the technology seen as a mechanism for Bahamians to possess and share records of their educational achievements. Blockchain technology allows information to be recorded, shared and updated by a particular community, with each member maintaining their own copy of data that has to be verified collectively.

Anything that can be described in digital form, such as contracts, transactions and assets, could thus be suitable for blockchain solutions. And Blockcerts, the open-standard for creating, issuing and verifying blockchain-based certificates, ensures they are tamper-proof. “Not only does the Blockcerts standard (open standard for digital documents anchored to the blockchain) allow Bahamian institutions to prevent records fraud, safeguarding and building confidence in their brands, but it allows them to leapfrog the digitisation process, skipping many of the interoperability issues associated with legacy digital formats (i.e. PDF, XML),” the IDB report said.

“Blockcerts provides students with autonomy, privacy, security and greater access all over the world, while allowing the Bahamian government to consolidate and streamline its credentialing operations in a way that produces real return on investment over a period. Primary use cases include: Student diplomas, professional certifications, awards, transcripts, enrollment verification, employment verification, verifications of qualifications, credit equivalencies and more.”…(More)”.