JIS:  Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government will re-establish its leadership and direction of local institutions that call upon the budget of the country.

 

“I do not intend to have the institutions of the country captured by people’s own personal belief of what they (think) should happen. Government must re-establish its authority to direct policy,” he said.

 

The Prime Minister was delivering a keynote address at the launch of an Absorptive Capacity Programme by the HEART Trust/NTA in partnership with the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in New Kingston, today (February 2).

 

Mr. Holness noted that institutions carrying out programmes outside of the established national direction and needs of the country allow for great disparity, fragmentation and has little positive effect.

 

“Not only is the Government going to ensure that there is a concerted effort and unison in policy and that there is direction, but the Government must ensure that there is efficiency as well,” he said.

 

Mr. Holness hailed HEART Trust/NTA for continuing to be prolific in developing new programmes and launching new initiatives. He urged the institution to maintain a focused direction through an appropriate cadre of programmes, as it plays a critical role in addressing intergenerational poverty and fulfilling the Government’s prosperity agenda.

 

The Absorptive Capacity Programme is designed to expand the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme of the HEART Trust/NTA, with National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQJ) and Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) courses being offered in 17 JCTE member institutions across the island.

 

Recruitment for the programme has already started, with 2,200 students to be enrolled in the first year. It is anticipated that the programme capacity will increase incrementally in subsequent years to offer courses to some 10,000 persons by 2020.

 

The programme is intended to improve job prospects and opportunity for tertiary level training and provides labour market demand skills in areas such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Tourism and Hospitality, Agriculture, and Transportation and Logistics.

 

Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, endorsed the initiative as being on the “right path” to put Jamaica amongst the best in the region in continued education.

 

“You have my full support and I am looking for us to work together to achieve the prosperity for Jamaica that we are all committed to,” he said.

 

The programme is being funded at a cost of $262 million, with $182 million provided by HEART Trust and the remaining $80 million by the JCTE.

 

Institutions to carry the programme include Excelsior Community College, International University of the Caribbean, Moneague College, Bethlehem Moravian College, Montego Bay Community College, Church Teachers’ College, Northern Caribbean University, Knox Community College, the College of Agriculture, Science and Education and the Caribbean Maritime Institute.

 

CAPTION: Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness (left), is greeted by Chairman of the HEART Trust/NTA, Maxine P. Wilson (2nd right), ahead of the launch of an Absorptive Capacity Programme by the institution, in partnership with the Joint Committee for Tertiary Education (JCTE), on February 2 at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel in Kingston. Looking on are Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (2nd left); and JCTE Chairman, Dr. Cecil Cornwall (right). The programme is designed to expand Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) courses in 17 JCTE member institutions.