JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says former Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Edward Seaga, must be commended for establishing the HEART Trust/NTA.
Addressing the agency’s Long Service & Retiring Motivational Seminar at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, St. James, on March 28, Senator Reid said no one is more deserving of praise for positively changing the lives of many youngsters than Mr. Seaga.
“As HEART stands on the cusp of marking its 35th-year milestone, your history is intricately linked with the efforts of an outstanding Jamaican, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga,” Senator Reid told the gathering.
“There is no doubt that despite his many accolades in music, governance, culture, finance and politics, one of Mr. Seaga’s most significant and enduring national creations is the HEART Trust/NTA, which he conceptualised in 1982,” the Minister said.
Senator Reid pointed out that HEART was the answer to Mr. Seaga’s passionate mission to find a way to reduce unemployment, particularly among the youth, and to provide a lasting solution to a lack of training and development, especially for those who had fallen outside of the formal system.
“Although we have come a long way, HEART still has significant work to do to reach out to the underserved youth all across the country, and to ensure that industry and investors are able to tap into a pool of skilled workers who are job-ready, not only for entry-level positions, but for high-end jobs,” he said.
Senator Reid said Mr. Seaga achieved his vision through a strong partnership with employers and by piloting the relevant legislation, the HEART Act of 1982, through the Parliament.
Employers, he noted, bought into Mr. Seaga’s vision by providing the financial base for the establishment and maintenance of HEART through a three per cent payroll levy, to create a continuous pool of funds to support human capacity development.
“Thirty-five years later, the Jamaican employers are still committed to this partnership and continue to fund this agency to meet the human resource needs of the nation,” the Minister said.
The HEART Trust/NTA was established to govern the development and delivery of technical vocational education and training (TVET) in Jamaica.
CAPTION: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid.