HEART Trust get high marks
WHILE THE HEART Trust/National Training Agency is one of the main state development agencies residents say is having a positive impact in the region, stakeholders are nonetheless calling for the scale-up of the agency’s itinerant communitybased training programmes.
A statutory agency of the Ministry of Education, the HEART Trust/NTA was established in 1982 to finance and coordinate training programmes aimed primarily at creating a competent and competitive workforce, which is trained at internationally recognised standards.
One HEART graduate, now a sous chef, Gary Kerr, said the organisation has done well in the past to prepare young people for the working world, but contended that the agency should resume fullscale community-based training and outreach activities, particularly in deep rural areas.
“HEART has been good because they have facilitated growth of the economy in terms of preparing young people for employment. They used to have external training programmes on a high scale in community centres and churches in communities in the recent past, and I would like to see them scale that up. There needs to be communitybased training where HEART takes the programmes to the people in their villages, for those who cannot necessarily make it to the central locations, like Kenilworth for example,” Kerr said.
Andrew Bernard, a former Kenilworth HEART trainee, gave the agency top marks for helping young people to advance on their career paths.
“HEART has been doing a good job to get young people trained. A lot of youngsters are working especially in the hotel sector because of the training they have received from the agency,” Bernard said.
In the 2014 to 2015 financial year, HEART introduced a national programme called ‘Opportunities for Underserved Youths” to improve employment facilitation and widen training access to underserved youth so as to boost their productive engagement. The agency also