Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, says that greater cooperation between the education and private sectors is to be encouraged, to secure return on investment in education.
“A part of the policy framework that is being developed, speaks to greater collaboration with the private sector to ensure that education is actually supplying…not just general skills but…the specific skills needed for industry,” Mr. Holness said.
“I think if we have that greater logistical co-operation, then we will be better able to secure the return on investment,” he assured guests attending the launch of WorldSkills International General Assembly and National Skills Competition, at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel, New Kingston, Wednesday (September 15).
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (left) has a light moment with Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Carolyn Hayle (right), while joining in the moment (from second left) are: Chief Technical Director at the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Wayne Wesley and Official Delegate of WorldSkills Jamaica, Kevin Mullings. Occasion was launch of WorldSkills International General Assembly and National Skills Competition at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel on Wednesday, September 15.
Mr. Holness also pointed out that education should be able to absorb the training costs of industry, noting that one of the main problems that industry faces is that when graduates are turned out, the training cost that industry still has to bear is significant, because the students will now have to be trained in specific fields.
Giving an example, Mr .Holness, highlighted the plight of an industry player who needed to hire 10 persons, and had go through a filtering process of interviewing 100 persons.
“And even after selecting the 10, they have to turn around and train them in the specific areas, because they still just did not (possess) the base level of skills required,” he explained.
He said that was unacceptable, as it is not an efficient way for an economy and a society to be run.
The Minister said that, in coming months, plans will be revealed regarding how the Government plans to work in closer unison with industry to ensure that it meets their needs and reduce their training costs.
“If we are already paying to train, and we are already paying to adjust attitudes, then there is really no reason why industry would have to go and re-invest in that process all over again,” he concluded.
WorldSkills International (WSI) is a non-profit organisation comprising 52 member countries, dedicated to raising the status and standards of vocational education and training worldwide. One of WSI’s key strategic events, its annual General Assembly, will be held in Jamaica, October 3-10, at the Wyndham Kingston Hotel, New Kingston.
During the week of the Assembly, Jamaica will be showcasing its Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system, through the staging of its fourth National Skills Competition at the University of Technology, October 5 to 7.