Heart Trust Aims to Train 394,200 Workers by 2008


The HEART Trust/NTA has designed a new business model, which among other things, provides for the training of 394,200 Jamaicans to international standards over the next three years. The number represents approximately half of the country’s workforce.
The new business model, which was introduced to representatives from over 30 companies and organizations at an employers’ forum held on March 8 at the Wexford Court Hotel in Montego Bay, is geared towards facilitating increased access, enrolment and certification of more working-age Jamaicans through partnerships with businesses and institutions.
Guided by the principle that “education makes you trainable and training makes you employable”, the HEART Trust has pledged to provide training and certification of workers at the workplace, without disrupting the company’s efforts towards production.
According to Samuel Bowen, Managing Director of the Caribbean Institute of Technology (CIT), which is a HEART-certified training programme, the institution recognizes that “very often, employees cannot be given time-off from work to go for training”.
“A major modality therefore”, he said, “is the establishment of training partnerships . as ones established between HEART Trust and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, Master Builders Association and the bauxite sector. ”
Mr. Bowen stressed that partnership with employers was necessary as the country prepared to participate in the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), which provides for the free movement of goods and services throughout the region.
“The national training agency has therefore been positioning itself to be the facilitator and enabler of the national movement to train, upgrade and certify the Jamaican workforce to international standards and thereby enhance the competitiveness of businesses, as a conducive environment for job-creating investment”, he stated.
HEART’s Director of Regional Services, Dermon Spence, who was the keynote speaker at the forum, said that the agency had a critical role to play in helping the country to prepare for the impact of globalization.
“Having done the necessary research, we recognize that a significant portion of the Jamaican workforce have skills and competences but no certification. It is clear that investment in Jamaica requires that workers are competitive and qualified . therefore we must seek to empower and qualify our people to access these opportunities that are coming on board”, Mr. Jones observed.

JIS Social