Re­tool­ing project aims to aid 3,000-plus an­nu­ally

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

THE HEART Trust/NTA, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Joint Com­mit­tee for Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion (JCTE), has of­fi­cially launched a three-year up­skilling and re­tool­ing project aimed at im­prov­ing the com­pe­ten­cies of em­ploy­ers, em­ploy­ees, re­tirees, and stu­dents.

The pro­gramme’s goal is to up­skill a min­i­mum of 3,000 per­sons an­nu­ally in or­der to im­prove em­ployee readi­ness, re­ten­tion, and pro­duc­tiv­ity, in par­tic­u­lar, im­pact sec­tors tar­geted by the Govern­ment for growth and ex­pan­sion.

Some 2,281 per­sons have al­ready been en­gaged in train­ing since the $30-mil­lion project be­came op­er­a­tional two months ago.

Min­is­ter of Ed­u­ca­tion, Youth and In­for­ma­tion Se­na­tor Ruel Reid, speak­ing at the launch cer­e­mony at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel in New Kingston yes­ter­day, said the up­skilling and re­tool­ing project demon­strates the cre­ativ­ity be­ing brought to the sec­tor in of­fer­ing rel­e­vant and prac­ti­cal pro­grammes for per­sons, par­tic­u­larly youth.

TRAIN­ING DE­MAND

“This launch comes in the con­text of greater de­mands by em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees for rel­e­vant train­ing to meet the needs of the work­place. There is also the clam­our for train­ing by self-em­ployed per­sons to en­able them to do a bet­ter job in ser­vice de­liv­ery and in­crease their earn­ing po­ten­tial,” he said.

Reid said this was also in line with a pol­icy pri­or­ity by the min­istry to pro­mote and foster a cul­ture of life­long learn­ing and pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment.

“Along with HEART Trust/NTA, we want to cre­ate a ro­bust sys­tem that en­ables all stu­dents with mul­ti­ple op­por­tu­ni­ties and path­ways so they can con­tinue their ed­u­ca­tional de­vel­op­ment. Ja­maica’s eco­nomic progress lies in a com­mit­ment by the peo­ple to pur­sue ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing be­yond the sec­ondary level,” he added.

The min­is­ter con­grat­u­lated all stake­hold­ers in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of the pro­gramme and urged the part­ner­ship of em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers across the is­land.

He said that the pro­gramme would help to equip the gen­eral labour force with skills to ad­vance to high-pay­ing jobs, while also im­prov­ing the mind­set of em­ploy­ees to­wards greater lev­els of pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The pro­gramme, to in­clude tech­ni­cal skills and lead­er­ship train­ing, will be man­aged through the Lead­er­ship Acad­emy by the JCTE and the Pro­fes­sional Skills Acad­emy by the HEART Trust/ NTA. Pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will be is­sued to par­tic­i­pants upon suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the pro­gramme.

Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the HEART Trust/NTA Dr Wayne Wesley said the up­skilling project is based on four spe­cific prin­ci­ples: ac­knowl­edge­ment of the need to ad­dress skills deficits; cre­ation of pro­grammes aligned with oc­cu­pa­tional stan­dards; in­vest­ment in the work­force to­wards eco­nomic and em­ploy­ment growth; and cre­at­ing pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ships to in­crease ac­cess.

“In­vest­ment in our hu­man re­sources fu­els pro­duc­tiv­ity, in­no­va­tion, in­vest­ment, eco­nomic com­pet­i­tive­ness, and sus­tain­able and in­clu­sive growth,” he said.

REID

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