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Story Highlights

  • Since the introduction of the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) six years ago, approximately 48,301 students have been trained in technical and vocational skills as well as 5,622 through the General Programme of Literacy and Numeracy.
  • The CAP, which is currently offered in 53 institutions, will be rolled out in all secondary schools at the commencement of the 2016/17 academic year, in September.
  • The Ministry of Education has overall responsibility for the apprenticeship programme, while HEART Trust/NTA is responsible for its implementation.

Since the introduction of the Career Advancement Programme (CAP) six years ago, approximately 48,301 students have been trained in technical and vocational skills as well as 5,622 through the General Programme of Literacy and Numeracy.
Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. Grace McLean, tells JIS News that for the financial year 2016-2017, the budgetary support for the programme has increased to $523 million.

“This will greatly boost the number of youth actively engaged in education and training while learning marketable skills that can aid them in accessing desirable jobs and higher level training programmes,” she says.

The CAP will be a major part of the extended secondary school programme that was announced by the Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid. The Ministry is slated to enrol 10,000 students for the academic year, starting in September 2016.

The CAP, piloted in 11 schools in 2010, aims at ensuring that students leaving secondary schools are literate and numerate, and have some form of technical and vocational qualification for post-secondary study or work.

It seeks to stem the problem of youth being unattached, because of inadequate education and skills.

Dr. McLean states that in 2015 approximately 30,000 of the grade 11 cohort left the system with some form of qualification in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J), the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and City and Guilds.

At grades 12 and 13, students have the opportunity through CAP, to move into the traditional sixth form or a technical sixth form programme, which will also include opportunities under the National Apprenticeship Programme.

Addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’ recently, Senator Reid said the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is the first tertiary institution which facilitates students who want to enrol in the programme.

“The CAP will be branded as a pre-college programme and this is the first time there will be full online accessibility.  The intention is to extend this support to other CAP locations and institutions,” the Minister said.

Under the CAP, the CMI will offer skills training opportunities to students, who at the end of the training will be qualified to gain employment or matriculate to pursue higher education.

The CAP, which is currently offered in 53 institutions, will be rolled out in all secondary schools at the commencement of the 2016/17 academic year, in September.

Through CAP, technical students have access to nine broad subject areas where they can pursue one of the over 42 NVQ-J or City and Guilds Vocational Qualifications. These subject areas include business services; construction; engineering and maintenance; health; information technology; the creative industries; personal services and the public service.

Dr. McLean says the apprenticeship component of CAP will allow students at rades 12 and 13 to engage in work-based and school-based apprenticeship programmes.

Explaining the apprenticeship programme, Dr. McLean says it is a structured system of training designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations through combined on-the-job training, under the supervision of experienced workers, with related structured instructions.

The work-based on-the-job guided learning enables and encourages the apprentice to demonstrate practical job-related skills, while the school-based off-the-job guided learning allows the apprentice to develop the technical skills of the job and develop knowledge of theoretical concepts.

The Ministry of Education has overall responsibility for the apprenticeship programme, while HEART Trust/NTA is responsible for its implementation.

In addition to students who will be trained through CAP, Dr. McLean states that approximately 20,000 persons between the ages of 19 and 29 will be facilitated through other programmes offered by HEART Trust/NTA, the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL) and the National Youth Service (NYS).