No divestment of HEART Trust/NTA, says Wesley
CHIEF EXECUTIVE officer of the HEART Trust/ National Training Agency (NTA), Dr Wayne Wesley, has dismissed claims that divestment plans are in the pipeline for the institution, pointing out that new partnerships are being forged to make the training centres more efficient and autonomous.
The HEART Trust/NTA CEO told The Gleaner on Monday that the agency was looking at how its institutions could be brought under greater level of management and accountability, given that they are geographically dispersed across the island.
A source within the institution, who requested anonymity, said some members of staff are concerned about their tenure with the institution, claiming that the Vocational Training Development Institute, an agency of HEART Trust/NTA in Gordon Town, St Andrew, is being earmarked for divestment.
"What I want to do now is to look at how we can put those institutions on specific performance requirements and hold them accountable to those targets; and where you don't have persons living up to those performance (targets), then you can always either put them on a performance upgrade, or risk losing funding because you don't want to continue funding inefficiency," he explained.
According to Wesley, if HEART Trust/NTA is to respond to national development, "then we must create a structure that allows us to be flexible in responding, so we can move without any hindrance to support and fund areas of economic demand and development.
"We form various partnerships that allow us to respond to where jobs are likely to be created, as one of the things we are mandated to do is to facilitate employment. So we will form relations from time to time with various entities in the BPO, (business processing outsourcing) sector that would want us to offer training that would allow them to get the kind of graduates they are looking for."
He said the HEART Trust/NTA was not moving to establish any of its facilities as BPO centres for operations.
Wesley stressed that HEART Trust/NTA had no plans to divest its facilities but to enter into partnerships and collaborative arrangements with other organisations.
He pointed out that traditional programmes that were viable would remain while funding would cease for those that were not doing well.
However, the head of the national training agency indicated that programmes with very few students would be rationalised while new programmes would be added. "What is clear, though, is that the current set of students who are being catered to will not be disenfranchised in whatever arrangements we put forward," he added.
Wesley also said there were no plans to make anybody redundant, but in the process of rationalisation persons might be reassigned.