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Education Ministry Meets with Stakeholders Groups on Merger of Training Agencies


JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information held a sensitisation session with critical stakeholders to discuss the upcoming merger of the National Youth Service (NYS) and Jamaican Foundation for Life Long Learning (JFLL) with the HEART Trust/NTA.


Addressing the session held on February 9 at the Jamaica College campus, Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the merger will “mainstream and integrate our training and education systems” in order to reach more persons through targeted training.


“What we intend to do in this merger is to look strategically at how we can pull these entities together under one umbrella so we can have more focus and more reach,” he said.


This, he said, will go a far way in addressing some of the social problems in the country.


Executive Director of HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Wayne Wesley, noted that the merger, which is slated to take effect on April 1, comes at a time when the Government is focused on reforming the public sector to ensure greater levels of efficiency and effectiveness.


The move, which includes integration of the HEART Trust/NTA’s National Apprenticeship Board, will facilitate a national coordinating machinery for youth services; an integrated supply chain of education with increased access to lifelong learning opportunities; and greater access to training, certification and employment opportunities with a focus on youth and underserved communities.


“It is an opportune time for an event such as this as we face the choice of how best to invest resources to address the needs of current and future generations… the merger and the further integration of the apprenticeship programme is one step in that direction,” Dr. Wesley said.


He noted that the stakeholder group, comprised of senior managers, board members and staff, is a critical part of the merger and teams will be mobilised to work on each stage of the process, which includes the visioning exercise, the pre-merger, the due diligence and the planning and integration.


“With your help, the new organisation will continually assess the skills of our nation’s people with a view of ensuring they are equipped to take full advantage of the emerging opportunities,” he said.


“By leveraging our synergies in our programmes, policies, plans and processes, we will create an organisation that will provide skills and employment opportunities to improve the socio-economic conditions of our youth, and equip learners and employees and future entrepreneurs with the knowledge, skills and attitude for a prosperous nation,” he noted further.


The merger forms part of the Government’s agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).


A key aspect of the programme is the reorientation and transformation of the public sector to reposition public resource allocation towards infrastructure, social protection and security-related spending.


It is anticipated that this will transform the public sector into being more efficient and delivery-focused; modernise the monetary policy framework and build the foundation for an eventual move to inflation targeting; bolster the resilience of Jamaica’s financial system; and implement initiatives that unlock Jamaica’s growth potential and promote private sector job creation.


CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (right), addresses staff of the National Youth Service (NYS), Jamaican Foundation for Life Long Learning (JFLL), the HEART Trust/NTA and the National Apprenticeship Board during a sensitisation session to discuss the upcoming merger of the entities, held on February 9 at Jamaica College in Kingston.