HEART/NTA Steps Up Skills Training Activities


The HEART Trust/National Training Agency (NTA), has embarked on several initiatives aimed at creating a Jamaican workforce that, beyond being technically competent, is also ready for work.
“We will have spaces where people actually learn what is required in the workplace, so when you go to the workplace you are not there to train but to work,” Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, told the launch of National Employers’ Month, Wednesday (September 1).
She noted that companies have been making their financial contributions to the training agency, and that HEART was committed to ensuring there is a steady workforce available.
She said that HEART was working with the Ministry of Education to deliver the Career Advancement Programme (CAP), under which a parallel programme for delivering skills training at the high school level is currently being implemented. Another component of CAP is the Senior School Programme (SSP), which proposes to add two more years at the high school level dedicated to vocational training.
The third component of the CAP will be the implementation of the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) College, to which employers can send their workers for training in higher level skills, for example at the supervisory level.
Dr. Hayle added that the training being provided by HEART will also make Jamaica more attractive for foreign direct investments.
“This is particularly interesting for [JAMPRO], because it is a marketing tool, because they can say to an investor that we have a steady sustainable pool of workers,” she explained.
The Executive Director also disclosed that HEART is partnering with other national training agencies across the region and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) in the skills certification process. She said about 196 skill areas have been sent to CARICOM for endorsement for the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ), issued by the CXC.
Dr. Hayles notes that the CVQ will allow for portability of skills within the region, as there will be a uniformed standard by which to judge people’s skills and competencies.

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