Hundreds employed under HEART/NTA training programme
Hundreds of Jamaica's youth have gained employment over the past two years under the HEART Trust/NTA's School Leaving Training Opportunities Programme (SL-TOP).
The initiative engages private and public-sector organisations in providing on-the-job training to young people in a wide range of skill areas.
The mission is to bridge the gap between school and the world of work for recent school leavers, age 17 to 23, and increase the productivity of participating firms by managing entry-level jobs and facilitating certifiable training in accordance with national competency standards.
Acting director for employment and career services of HEART Trust/NTA, Althea Smikle, said after completion of the programme, the majority of the trainees matriculate into full-time employment with the participating firm.
She informed that for the two-year period between 2013 and 2015, 1,382 persons gained employment after training.
Smikle said the programme initiated in 1982 has recorded tremendous success over the years and was now attracting an increased number of firms willing to partner for the training of the participants.
For the 2013/14 period, 322 firms partnered with the HEART Trust/NTA to provide training, while 327 participated for the 2014/15 period.
"For the firms, it gives them the privilege to contribute to the product...to get what they really want in terms of an employee.