Head of HEART/NSTA Trust emphasises importance of technical training, academic education to economy
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Technical training and academic education are important components in creating a prosperous and inclusive economy, says Managing Director of the HEART/NSTA Trust, Dr Tanisha Ingleton.
Dr Ingleton, who spoke at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on Tuesday, said it is full time for Jamaicans to understand that the narrative around technical training and academic education must change.
“As we know it, both components are not mutually exclusive, and we really create a false dichotomy when we place them in opposition to each other. The single most important force that is driving the world’s economies is the skills and education we all have as individuals,” she argued.
“On the one hand, technical training programmes offered by vocational and trade schools provide specific job-ready skills that meet immediate industry demands, while academic education offers a broader, adaptable knowledge base that supports innovation and long-term economic growth,” Dr Ingleton said.
“Hence, having a well-rounded education system that includes both elements can help individuals and societies thrive in an ever-changing economic landscape.”
Driving her point home, the managing director pulled on research showing that only 62 per cent of the world’s human capital stock is fully developed, meaning that “nations are literally wasting 38 per cent of their talent”.
“Jamaica doesn’t want to be part of that 38 per cent, and so the trust would have long recognised the importance of skills in revolutionising economies and has been training individuals to re-energise industries with the talent that is required to drive our economy and meet the demands of the hybrid workplace,” she said.
As the trust continues to outfit the Jamaican workforce with skilled professionals, Dr Ingleton charged the more than 11,000 trainees who will be graduating, to utilise the training that they received to create employment opportunities for others as well.
“A lot of them will go on to become entrepreneurs, and so we are asking that Jamaica recognise the importance of skills training. Where there is a skill, there is a way and the HEART Trust has been true to its mandate in preparing the very best for the Jamaican workplace,” she said.