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HEART Trust creates its own labour market portal

Published:Wednesday | July 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMTameka Gordon

HEART Trust/NTA has launched a website that provides information to policymakers and students alike on local labour force trends and areas in demand that persons may opt to quality themselves to fill.

The site, lmip.heart-nta.org, will also act as indicator to determine: areas with surplus labour; a skills gap that may call for more persons to be trained; and areas the Students' Loan Bureau may consider targeting for loans, said Colin Barnett, the senior director for information systems and technical services at HEART Trust/NTA.

The website was launched in May. A second phase of the project - to feature real-time job vacancies with career-matching services - should be completed by next April.

"Phase two will further enhance what students can get out of the portal," said Barnett. "Phase one has the jobs that are in demand; phase two will provide career trends - for example, digital animation is now in demand; if you were to pursue a digital animation programme, you will be able to see where that could take you along the occupational areas at a higher level," Barnett said of the career-plotting service that the jobs portal accommodates.

HEART Trust, a state-operated training agency, has said the interactive portal provides extensive labour market information on the Jamaican labour force, a skills bank, skills in demand, surplus and labour force trends.

DATA-DRIVEN

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security already hosts an employer/employee matching website, but Barnett said the HEART Trust site differs in its research and data-driven services and is meant to support the training process.

"The fundamental difference is that our portal is providing information to impact on the input, that is, training programmes that would be developed leading to support certified and labour market-ready graduates," said Barnett.

The labour ministry's site primarily brings jobs seekers and employers together.

Barnett would not say how much was spent on the labour market portal, saying the cost should be counted more so in man-hours.

The training agency's labour market research and intelligence department does research to determine current and future labour market needs to inform national policy and was instrumental in the decision to add aviation and maritime courses to the offerings of local training institutions.

The HEART Trust portal pulls together the agency's labour market research as well secondary information taken from agencies such as Jampro and Statin.

The site targets career and guidance counsellors, education and training institutions, curriculum developers, and students who may use it as a tool in selecting career paths that are marketable, Barnett said.

There is no cost to use the site or pull information from it.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com