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Ten government agencies will now be required to contribute to the HEART Trust/NTA, following the Senate’s approval of the Human and Resource Training Act Order 2007 on Friday (July 13).
The entities that have been added to the list of contributors are: Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission, Development Bank of Jamaica Limited, Export Import Bank, Factories Corporation of Jamaica Limited, Jamaica Business Development Company, Jamaica Mortgage Bank, Jamaica Racing Commission, National Housing Development Corporation, Petcom Limited and the Transport Authority.
State Minister for Education and Youth, Senator Noel Monteith, who moved the order, said that six entities have also been removed from the list of organizations required to contribute to the HEART Trust.
“What has happened is that some of these organizations and agencies have closed down, and new ones have entered the market, so basically what we are doing is removing those that have been closed and entering the new ones,” Senator Monteith said.
He explained that the ability of the Trust to “competently and efficiently discharge its function in order to maintain its benchmark world-class standard, is highly dependent on the three per cent HEART contributions paid by employers, whose average monthly emolument payment to employees exceeds $14,444”.
The Senator noted further that the reduction in the number of statutory and government controlled entities liable to make contributions, have far reaching ramifications for the continued work of the Trust. “The payment of contribution is vital to the successful realization of the mandate to train and certify the Jamaican workforce to globally accepted standards,” Senator Monteith said.
Opposition Senator Anthony Johnson, while supporting the order, questioned why some entities had not been initially contributing to the institution.
“People like the Development Bank of Jamaica, the Jamaica Mortgage Bank, the Betting Gaming Commission.that is a whole lot of money; that is millions and millions of dollars a month that ought to have been getting into HEART,” he said.
One of the core functions of the HEART/Trust is to provide for the training and certification of persons to ensure that the country has a competent and qualified workforce.