KINGSTON, Jamaica — More than 5,000 people have benefited from the Graduate Work Experience Programme (GWEP), implemented by the Human Employment and Resource Training/National Service Training Agency (HEART/NSTA) Trust.
The programme which targets unemployed graduates, aged 17 to 29 years, with little or no experience in their field of study, places participants within public and private-sector entities.
According to a release on Monday, they are then exposed to six months of work experience and are paid a stipend, which is generally absorbed by the HEART/NSTA Trust.
Managing Director, HEART/NSTA Trust, Dr Taneisha Ingleton, said the programme is a “game changer”, as it helps participants to develop skills and acquire a competitive advantage, both locally and internationally.
“A lot of times we have brilliant graduates in terms of the knowledge coming out of the university, but when they do these interviews, if they do get shortlisted, the challenge is that they do not have the level of experience that the job would demand, and the HEART Trust has stepped in to ensure that can no longer be a narrative,” she said.
Dr Ingleton informed that, to date, more than 3,000 of the individuals who benefited from the programme have received permanent jobs.
“We are not just training, certifying [and] providing experience but the end goal –they’re able to get jobs,” she said, adding that in return “these individuals will now be able to become entrepreneurs and employ other people”.
Dr Ingleton further advised that during the 2022/2023 financial year, internship opportunities will be found for at least 300 graduates.
“So, if it is that you are a graduate 17 to 29 [years], you have no experience and you want to develop that bank of experience to get into the more formal sector, it’s time to contact us,” she urged.
For information on the GWEP, interested persons may visit the HEART/NSTA’s website at www.heart-nsta.org or its Facebook and Instagram pages @heartnstatrust.