KINGSTON – The Portmore HEART Academy has expanded the range of services it offers to include career development guidance, with the opening of the Portmore Career Development Centre.
The centre will aid in preparing persons who are suitably qualified for their career choices, as well as enhancing their skills. It is located on the Portmore HEART Academy campus, 1Northerm Parade, St. Catherine, and was officially opened Monday March 28.
Career development services offered include career counselling, psychometric testing, seminars and workshops on employability skills, employment facilitation, application processing, labour market and worldskills information.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, said that the centre has been established to help community members to determine what career suits them best, and to help to establish income streams to satisfy their lifestyles.
“You also have to be happy (with) what you do and, therefore, the career centre will guide you through several processes, to determine your adaptability to specific careers and match them against your interest,” she said.
Citing a study, she said that persons are likely to change careers about five times in their lifetime, so they have to be prepared to adjust quickly and to be multi-skilled to survive.
Mayor of Portmore, Keith Hinds, in welcoming the new centre, said that it will benefit the community greatly, as much of the working population reside in that location.
The Mayor noted that the focus now has to be on further developing Portmore, in order to elevate it out of its dormant state, particularly through education.
He also professed his continued support for the Portmore HEART Academy, noting its important role in the development of community members.
National Programme Director, HEART Trust, Dermon Spence, said that the strategically placed career centre is the eleventh such facility to be opened as part of HEART Trust’s training support services.
“We consider Portmore to be highly placed for this centre…(because) of the large population that is here, and the fact that if you look at the economic activities…it simply means that the Portmore community is fully engaged in activities that drive the economy of this country,“ he said.
Mr. Spence also stated that the centre is not restricted, but open to community members, whom he urged to take care of the facility.
“We are going to be staffing it with qualified, competent people that will serve you in a very professional way…it will be properly equipped, with the latest in support technology for career development. You can go in and do your interest inventory, you can do your career-pathing,” he said.
The Portmore HEART Academy currently offers courses in building, engineering, computer, business and pre-university courses.
By ALECIA SMITH, JIS Reporter