Just over 200 certified learners through the HEART Trust/ NTA are now able to access new Occupational Studies Degree programmes under the direction of the Centre for Occupational Studies, an agency of the Ministry of Education.
An additional 250 level 2 certified graduates of the Career Advancement Programme are expected to be enrolled in January 2017.
These learners will be able to upgrade their competency levels to take advantage of higher level job opportunities in emerging sectors of the economy.
Learners who possess the National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) or Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) certifications at Levels 2 or 3 will be able to access higher level skills in Agro Processing, Restaurant Operations, Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Speaking at the launch of the programme in Montego Bay on December, 8, chairman of the HEART Trust / NTA, Ms Maxine Wilson said these areas were targeted for growth and development and fit in perfectly with the Government’s “5 in 4” growth agenda, that is, five per cent growth in GDP over the next four years.
She said the HEART Trust/ NTA supported this growth policy and would deploy the necessary resources to train and certify Jamaica‘s people “to make it happen.”
The launch took place during the Opening Ceremony of an Edu-Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Conference at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Montego Bay, St. James. The conference was organized by the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education and the Heart Trust / NTA.
An Occupational Degree is an industry-driven specialized industry-approved degree that focuses specifically on technical/vocational studies geared directly towards workplace studies and employment.
In his key note address, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the government was embarking on a road where education was a top priority and would be expanded to ensure access for all regardless of status.
He said a special skill set and certification were now required irrespective of the type of job and this should be both encouraged and appreciated in order for the country to move forward.
In endorsing the programme, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid the programmes were in response to the demands of the workplace in terms of employers needing employees with practical and relevant skills.
“The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and its agencies have increased the emphases on technical and vocational training because that is an area of great need in Jamaica and in indeed the world at present,” Senator Reid added.
CAPTION: Prime Minister Andrew Holness (fourth from right) and Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator Ruel Reid (third left) prepare to unveil a plaque symbolically launching the new Occupational Studies Degree Programme – a joint project of the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education and the HEART Trust / NTA. The launch took place in Montego Bay, St James December 8. Looking on L – R) are Dean-Roy Bernard, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Ms, Maxine P. Wilson Chairman for HEART Trust/ NTA, Mrs Audrey Sewell, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Dr Cecil Cornwall, Chairman for the JCTE, and Dr. Carolyn Hayle, chairman of the University Council of Jamaica.