The Government is scaling up of the Document Management and Digitisation Corps through collaborations with the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology and the Jamaica Archives and Records Department.
Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made the disclosure in his contribution to the 2020/2021 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday (March 19).
The Digitisation Corps, under the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment (HOPE) Programme, is designed to preserve the physical documents that currently exist in many Government agencies.
It is being supported under the Youth Employment in Digital and Animation Industries (YEDAI) Project through funding from the World Bank.
The Prime Minister said that thousands of HOPE interns have been engaged in several ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in support of the digitisation effort.
“Since the incorporation of the HOPE component into the YEDAI Project (2018), this skill area has trained over 6,000 young persons, and of that total, over 4,000 have been placed in internship both in the public and private sectors. Many of the participants have gained permanent employment, including over 2,000 that have joined the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector,” he told the House.
The Prime Minister said the initiative is part of a larger mandate to facilitate inclusiveness in the development of human capital.
He noted that with the merger of the HEART Trust/NTA with the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL), the National Youth Service (NYS) and the Apprenticeship Board in December 2019, to form the HEART/National Service Training Agency (NSTA) Trust, a total human capital development institution for Jamaica has been established.
“This, the largest merger ever in the public sector in Jamaica, has resulted in the integration and rationalisation of programmes and services, consolidation and optimisation of functions and workspaces, and expanded access to training, certification, volunteerism and job placement opportunities, particularly for the unemployed, untrained and uncertified,” the Prime Minister said.
He noted that the Trust is expanding partnerships with entities in the BPO, automotive and logistics sectors to provide trainees for these industries.
He told the House that through the efficiencies realised from the merger, there was a 24 per cent increase in enrolment in 2018/2019 when compared to 2017/2018.
The Prime Minister said that as of February 25, 2020, there were 131,030 persons enrolled in the programmes offered by the Trust, and the institution expects to close out 2019/20 with enrolment of more than 152,000 persons.
“The Trust has changed its policy to be more inclusive, especially with the mandate of engaging more unattached youth through the HOPE Programme. Previously, Jamaicans had to attain grade nine-level certification to enrol. With the merger with the JFLL, the Trust is open to all Jamaicans, who have attained the age of 17 years. Now, no one is turned away,” the Prime Minister said.