JIS News

The Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) Trust /National Training Agency (NTA) has encouraged employers to become Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs).
At an employers’ forum held at the Bridge Palm Resort Hotel in Toll Gate, Clarendon and hosted by the southwestern region of the HEART Trust/NTA, yesterday (March 2), Mark Thomas, Director of Communications, told employers that it was their responsibility to ensure that workers possess and are certified for their skills.
“We want to make as many firms as possible in Jamaica Accredited Training Organizations.What this really means is that your company can gain the skills and the wherewithal to accredit training, to recommend people who go through your training programmes (training programmes that we’re going to help you formalise) to get certification for the skills you would have passed on to them,” he said.
Mr. Thomas emphasised that businesses in Clarendon were particularly suitable to participate in the ATO programme, noting that their strategic location to Kingston and immediate access to the new highway would encourage a number of workers to relocate to the parish.
He said that under the ATO programme, employers would have the ability to train and assess their workers, adding that they could also offer external assessment services at a cost to other companies in their industry as a very lucrative business opportunity.
The forum was held in an effort to sensitise employers about the ‘New Business Model’, which has as its primary objective the ‘creation of a Jamaican workforce trained and certified to international standards’ as well as to introduce the products and services that the HEART Trust has to offer.
According to Grace McLean, Director of Enterprise Based Training at the HEART Trust, Jamaica has a work force of some 1.14 million persons, the largest in the Caribbean. She added that an estimated 350,000 of that working population was in the 25-34 year old age group.
She also pointed that about 342,000 persons within the total workforce were skilled but without certification. The Director emphasized that this was a good opportunity for employers to make use of the ATO programme and offer certification.
The Forum is the first in a series to be held across the island throughout this year with the next one scheduled for Riverside Dock in Black River on March 10.

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