Tertiary Institutions to be included in HEART/NSTA Trust apprenticeship programme
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Tertiary institutions will be targeted under the HEART/NSTA Trust’s revamped apprenticeship programme, which is slated to be launched next year.
The initiative is aimed at ensuring that the workforce is equipped with the skill sets to meet labour-market demand.
Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Skills and Digital Transformation, Senator Dr Dana Morris Dixon, said that the objective is to produce a labour force that is job-ready.
“We will start with HEART but the ultimate goal is [to include tertiary institutions] so that students will leave and do some of their training on the job, because the key thing is relevant skills,” she said.
She noted, “Sometimes, our tertiary institutions can be a bit detached from the real world and the world of work, and so this is how we bridge that gap. Over time, we will have a much more productive workforce because our students and graduates will be embedded with the real skills in the sectors that they go into.”
The apprenticeship programme is being developed by HEART in consultation with the private sector and through technical support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Dr Dixon Morris said the paid apprenticeship will include an evaluation component and participants will receive HEART NSTA/Trust certification.
It will start with HEART and will initially be rolled out in the business process outsourcing (BPO), construction, logistics, and manufacturing sectors.
Trainees will do some courses at HEART before being placed in on-the-job training.
Noting the success of the apprenticeship model in other countries, Dr Morris Dixon said it will assist in accelerating Jamaica’s development agenda.
“What we are doing is we are trying to use that model, which we see globally is working and tailoring it for our environment. We are getting some support from the IDB to build it out even further, to institutionalise it the way we would want it to work, and to also have tertiary institutions being part of the apprenticeship programme,” she pointed out.