JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information and the Public-Private Sector Partnership in Education Committee have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that seeks to better align education and training to meet the needs of the labour market.
With youth unemployment at an estimated 30 per cent, the Government is taking a targeted focus on human capital development through education and training, in order to improve labour market outcomes.
Under the five-year MOU, an extensive review of the Ministry’s programmes will be undertaken, with the objective of establishing an institutional framework and strategies to deepen the alignment of the education and training sector to labour market needs.
At the signing ceremony and information session at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (November 2), portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said the initiative forms part of the reform of the education and training system.
Through this collaborative effort, Senator Reid said, he anticipates that future generations will be better equipped with the required competences for industry.
Senator Reid said the Ministry recognises that in order to stem the tide of unemployment, greater coordination is needed to facilitate the transition of students from educational institutions to the world of work.
“For our economy to function at an optimal level, we need to have our people trained and certified so they can produce the goods and services to drive economic growth and development,” he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Dennis Chung, noted that Jamaica has to be at the forefront of the education revolution in order to “be able to compete with the best globally and tie that into the development agenda as it relates to a joined-up government approach to education and training”.
The Public-Private Sector Partnership in Education Committee, which had its inaugural meeting in July, was formed under the auspices of the Education Ministry. It is comprised of representatives of State and private-sector entities.
Among its core objectives and functions are to review the current education, training and labour market alignment model to identify the extent of the mismatch; use international best practices and identify institutional models that can be adapted to the Jamaican experience; provide technical advice and make appropriate recommendations to the Minister; guide the development of policy and strategic direction for an institutional framework; provide advocacy; and communicate in a timely manner, the progress of its work to key stakeholders.
In attendance at the signing were representatives of the Education Ministry, HEART Trust/ NTA, PSOJ, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), University of the West Indies (UWI), and the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA).
CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (right), signs a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Public-Private Sector Partnership in Education Committee at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (November 2). The five-year agreement aims to establish an institutional framework and strategies to better align the education and training sector to meet labour market needs. Looking on are Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Dennis Chung (left); and Director of Planning in the Ministry, Barbara Allen.