Make HEART Trust the Vocational University of Jamaica

Wednesday, February 26, 2014    

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Dear Editor,

The HEART Trust/NTA is on the right path with the re-branding of its academies as vocational colleges. Its Runaway Bay Academy for Hospitality Skills is the most recently re-branded facility. The next logical step is to consolidate the colleges into the 'Vocational University of Jamaica'. This should be done with a vision of this institution becoming the premier national provider of workforce-ready graduates sufficient for local demand and export, heralding Jamaica's formal embrace of knowledge as a major economic industry. This fits well into the national priority to make Jamaica the fourth node of the global logistics network. Therefore, it is a very timely development to be pursued with the same vigour.

The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) has succeeded in its vigorous efforts to become the leading workforce development partner for the logistics-driven economy. However, this may be attributed to the complacency or visionary conservatism of the HEART Trust/NTA, which has the most congruous mandate and adequate resources to qualify as the leader. The CMI needs to see the wisdom of being joined to the HEART Trust/NTA as the premier college of its Vocational University of Jamaica. It is already inappropriately placed under the remit of the Ministry of Transport for no better reason than its complementary relationship with the maritime transport industry. This is an educational institution that should have come under the ambit of those tasked with public sector reform, for re-assignment to the education ministry under the HEART Trust/NTA. The simple reason is that it is a workforce academy.

It is hoped that good sense will prevail over politics, personal ambition and bureaucracy in the national interest by the adoption of my recommendations.

H W Dennis






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