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More Jamaicans are accessing the HEART/NSTA Trust’s training and certification services than at any other time in the agency’s nearly 38-year history.

As stated in the agency’s 2019/20 annual report, which was tabled in the House of Representatives on October 27, training enrolment has increased by 98 per cent for the five-year period 2015/2016 to 2019/2020, moving from 71,464 to 141,748 at an average annual growth rate of 16 per cent.

The document noted that the commencement of the merger in the 2016/17 operational year, (with the Apprenticeship Board, the HEART Trust/NTA, the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning and the National Youth Service) provided a new groundswell of interest in the Trust’s programmes.

“For the 2019/20 financial year, more admissions were achieved than planned in eight of the nine Vision 2030 priority sectors of the economy impacted by the Trust, save for the creative industries, manufacturing and mining,” the document stated.

Studies were also conducted during the period by the Trust’s labour market researchers to identify current and anticipated training needs, as well as emerging technologies to develop training programmes to support the sports sector.

Meanwhile, for the review period, 50,599 certificates were awarded in all programmes, comparing favourably to the 39,923 persons who were certified in HEART programmes for the corresponding 2018/2019 operational year.

Also, over the five-year period 2015/16 to 2019/20, the number of certificates awarded moved from 23,599 to 50,599 at an average annual growth rate of 18.8 per cent.

“The Trust has put renewed focus on ramping up certification rates through its mobile training and assessment drives and workplace initiatives, as well as encouraging trainees with deferred certification to complete their programmes,” the document said.

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