The HEART Trust/NTA is seeking to partner with accredited institutions locally, in order to expand the number of students it can accommodate in its programmes islandwide.
This has come about as the HEART academies are currently only able to accommodate some of the students who desire to pursue the programmes.
Speaking prior to a tour of the institution’s College of Beauty Services in Kingston by a visiting South African delegation and an Executive Management team from the Ministry of Education, on September 10, HEART Trust Executive Director, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, informed that of the more than 79,000 students which its programmes can cater to, only 55,000 can be accommodated currently in the academies.
“The rest are done through the school system or the private providers. That is why we are encouraging the other entities to become accredited training organisations, so we can increase that number,” she said.
She pointed out that the work being done by the training agency seeks to ensure that the workforce is trained and certified to international standards, in order to compete globally.
The South African delegation comprised Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Bonginkosi Nzimande; South African High Commissioner, Her Excellency Mathu Joyini; Chief of Staff, Ngaba Ngandela, and other officials from the Ministry.
The Executive Management team from the Ministry of Education included Acting Chief Education Officer, Clement Radcliffe, among others.
For his part, Dr. Bonginkosi Nzimande said skills development is a critical component to national development. He noted that HEART is critical as it assists in developing and advancing the skills of Jamaicans.
Explaining the rationale for the visit, he said they were encouraged to visit by Her Excellency Mathu Joyini, to get a first-hand look at the institution and how it operates. “I am absolutely convinced that this is one area of co-operation on which we can continue to exchange ideas,” he said.
During the tour, the Executive Management team from the Ministry and the South African delegation met with HEART Executives, school administrators, students and other staff members.
The HEART Trust/NTA was established as a statutory body under the HEART Act in 1982 to govern the development and delivery of Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Jamaica.
Its core business emphasises training and certification of Jamaican citizens for employment, while regulating and setting standards for the TVET system in Jamaica.
The HEART Trust/NTA will celebrate its 30th anniversary on November 4.