JIS News

The National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) is to certify at least 100,000 Jamaicans as skilled workers in various competencies within the next three years.
In an interview with JIS News, Paulette Dunn Smith, Senior Director of NCTVET said research conducted by the organisation had revealed that while Jamaica’s workforce comprised “just under one million persons, we found that 70 per cent of those individuals are not certified, so we are now aiming to certify at least 100,000 persons by the year 2008”.
She said the NCTVET would endeavour to target 35,000 persons annually over a three-year period. Individuals who choose to pursue certification for their specific profession through NCTVET training in HEART/NTA institutions, would be doing so with a business model that NCTVET incorporated into its curriculum two years ago.
Mrs. Dunn Smith explained that what applied under the previous model, was that individuals were trained and certified in a general occupational area. However, after examining training models used in other countries, the Senior Director said “we saw where what obtained in Australia and New Zealand suited us”.
“They have a very flexible system of training and certifying and a number of us [in the NCTVET programme] went to that part of the world and came back with a model that we have now revised and have now administered in the HEART institutions and to the wider public for the last two years,” she added.
By adopting the new model, students would be provided with a far more flexible system, in which they could focus on units of training in a particular career field, as opposed to an overall programme of study, which was time consuming, she said.
According to Mrs. Dunn Smith, the model has featured an on-the-job training component, which might prove useful for persons seeking certification.
“Obviously, we are at a point where not everybody can go into an institution, so [the new model will allow] you to work on the job and do your training and certification right there on the job, rather than going into a training institution,” the Senior Director noted.
The Senior Director lauded the NCTVET’s programmes, pointing out that the Council utilised an approach that was industry driven. “We benchmark at international standards, so that if you are trained anywhere in Jamaica at these standards, that means you can work anywhere in the world,” she said. She added that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has also adopted the standards, thereby making it easier for Jamaicans to become certified.
The pending Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME), Mrs. Dunn Smith said, would open the borders for persons who received certified training.

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