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  • The HEART Trust/National Training Agency (HEART/NTA) has procured additional equipment, valued at over $20 million, which will serve to further expand the institution’s delivery of technical and vocational training islandwide.
  • These acquisitions include two Toyota Coaster buses, which will serve as ‘Career Coaches’ and a 40-foot container that will be used as a mobile welding lab, which has been retrofitted for these engagements.
  • The mobile service provisions, slated to be rolled out shortly, will also enable HEART to facilitate, as best as is possible, as many of the up to 150,000 youth across the society, who Dr. Wesley contends “are in need of some form of engagement,” with opportunities for skills training and education, and job placements.

The HEART Trust/National Training Agency (HEART/NTA) has procured additional equipment, valued at over $20 million, which will serve to further expand the institution’s delivery of technical and vocational training islandwide.

These acquisitions include two Toyota Coaster buses, which will serve as ‘Career Coaches’ and a 40-foot container that will be used as a mobile welding lab, which has been retrofitted for these engagements.

They will be pivotal in what Executive Director, Dr. Wayne Wesley, says is HEART’s undertaking to accommodate more of the approximately 40,000 applications received for admission to the institution’s academies annually, of which only some 13,000 can be accommodated each year.

The mobile service provisions, slated to be rolled out shortly, will also enable HEART to facilitate, as best as is possible, as many of the up to 150,000 youth across the society, who Dr. Wesley contends “are in need of some form of engagement,” with opportunities for skills training and education, and job placements.

This undertaking is consistent with the Government’s Strategic Human Capital Development and Job Creation and Economic Growth Priorities, focusing on education for and integrating youth into national development.

To this end, the coaches will be used as mobile offices to deliver the full suite of services provided by HEART’s Employment and Career Service (ECS) Department.

 

These include: recruitment; applications processing; career services; employment services (employment facilitation), and on-the-job training through the School Leavers Training Opportunities Programmes (SL-TOPs); apprenticeship under the Registered Apprenticeship Programme (RAP); internship; and work experience.

One of the coaches will be assigned to HEART’s South East and South West Regions, comprising: St. Thomas; Kingston and St. Andrew; St. Catherine; Clarendon; Manchester; and St. Elizabeth.

Programme details provided by HEART indicate that the unit will provide services to targeted “remote and underserved communities within these parishes.”

The second coach will be assigned to provide similar services in the North East and North West Regions, comprising Portland, St. Mary, St. Ann. Trelawny, and St. James, and Westmoreland.

The container has been retrofitted with the requisite equipment and workstations by HEART’s College of Construction Services (HCCS), to facilitate its utilization as a welding lab.

It is being managed by the Community Training Interventions and Special Projects Department, and has been dispatched to St. Thomas for initial programme delivery.

HEART has indicated that the general principle underlying the delivery of mobile services is to increase accessibility.

To this end, two additional mobile labs, one targeting untrained and uncertified workers within the hospitality sector, and the other for Industrial Electronics, are earmarked for roll-out by the end of current fiscal year, on March 31, 2016.

This decision, according to the institution, is supported by labour market intelligence indicating where localised demand for services is required “from time to time.”

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, earlier this year, Dr. Wesley noted that while HEART cannot build facilities in “every single community” consequent on resource constraints, the provision of mobile services, as part of the institution’s “flexible response,” will enable it to “respond to more communities, going forward.”

“We want to be more responsive…to the needs…(of)…the workforce of Jamaica…(by determining) how…we…creatively respond with innovation and flexibility, to ensure that we are engaging these persons who are rightfully in need of engagement,” he added.