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  • The HEART Trust/NTA has launched a multimillion-dollar support programme, which will benefit students of the national skills training institute as well as operators of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME).
  • Dr. Wesley informed that the intervention “is not just financial but it is also capacity building, by (providing) training through our Smart Training Programme free of cost to MSME and individuals to access our funding arrangement.”
  • The HEART Trust/NTA is an agency of the Ministry of Education, and has a mission to actively shape “a vibrant and dynamic workforce through the support, maintenance and development of Technical Vocational Education and Training institutions.”

The HEART Trust/NTA has launched a multimillion-dollar support programme, which will benefit students of the national skills training institute as well as operators of Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME).

Under the initiative, 60 students graduating with National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ) level 3 qualification will obtain funding to start their own businesses, while 20 existing MSME operators will receive grants of up to $3 million to expand their operations.

Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Wayne Wesley, informed that the agency is projecting to spend up to $80 million during the first phase of the programme, which will commence in February.

“We have put up $60 million to $80 million for assisting our trainees, as well as existing MSMEs, to expand their own capacity,” he said at a recent press conference held at the agency’s corporate offices in Kingston.

“It is an initiative to facilitate employment creation,” he pointed out, noting that at least two to three jobs are expected from each of the businesses that are already in operation.

Dr. Wesley informed that the intervention “is not just financial but it is also capacity building, by (providing) training through our Smart Training Programme free of cost to MSME and individuals to access our funding arrangement.”

The MSME Support Programme will provide assistance for trainee start-ups; export-based MSMEs; and general MSMEs.

Eligible entrepreneurs can access up to $3 million while benefitting from business development training.

The support for operators in the export sector will be provided through the Export Max initiative being spearheaded by JAMPRO.

Meanwhile, a select group of HEART/NTA start-ups will receive a grant of up to $100,000 to purchase tools and equipment, and business development training for 18 months.

Dr. Wesley said the programme involves a partnership with the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).

“As we assist persons to develop their capacity, we ensure that they have technical support to expand,” he pointed out.

The HEART Trust/NTA is an agency of the Ministry of Education, and has a mission to actively shape “a vibrant and dynamic workforce through the support, maintenance and development of Technical Vocational Education and Training institutions.”