Mr. Speaker, I tabled the Human Employment and Resource Training (Amendment) Act, 2019, in the context of my budget presentation (on 19 March 2019) on “Building a new Jamaica” and addressed the critical element of human capital development in that new Jamaica.
Mr. Speaker, former Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Edward Seaga had a passionate mission to provide a meaningful future for those who had fallen outside of the formal education system. The Human Employment and Resource Training (HEART) Trust was conceptualized by him and we saw the great tribute paid to him by persons who were given new opportunities to advance in life because of the HEART Trust.
The policies implemented over the past two years with the merger of the HEART Trust with the National Youth Service Board, the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning Limited and the Apprenticeship Board were designed to return the HEART Trust to the original vision of an institution with a significant role to play in nation building in ensuring that no Jamaican youth is left behind.
The merger has opened the doors of the Human Employment Resource Training Trust, National Training Service Agency (HEART Trust/NTSA) to many who had been shut out for years. Until we took the decision to merge the entities many unattached youth were turned away from one agency and redirected to another and in the process many fell through the cracks. Now every single person who knocks on HEART Trust/TNA’s door is given a roadmap for a productive life and meaningful future through training and development, whether through HOPE which is Helping Our People Excel, adult learning programmes or other certification programmes.
The Human Employment and Resource Training (Amendment) Act, 2019, provides the legal framework that will allow us to build on the successful policies implemented over the past two years. The Act makes the necessary legal provision for the merger of the functions of the National Youth Service Board, the Apprenticeship Board and the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning Limited with the Human Employment and Resource Training Trust within one entity, i.e. the HEART Trust/NTSA.Download Full Speech