ACCORDING TO Robert Gregory, executive director of the HEART Trust/NTA, the CSM presents a great potential for the region and Jamaica is geared up to take full advantage of the benefits of the new market.
"We are more prepared in terms of certification than any other territories in the Caribbean," Mr. Gregory said.
The HEART Trust is mandated to provide training and certification for the Jamaican labour force and is the leading training agency in the Caribbean.
Mr. Gregory said the region is moving towards issuing a Caribbean vocational qualification (CVQ). He said training agencies across the region were currently waiting on the establishment of a Caribbean accreditation body that would give the awarding body the authority to award the CVQ, which would replace the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) which currently exists in each territory.
The executive director told The Sunday Gleaner that his organisation is committed to train as many Jamaicans for the labour force as possible. In November, the southeastern region of the training agency certified 1,100 working age Jamaicans.
Mr. Gregory said many sixth-form students and university graduates are not oriented to the realities of the economy and do not select careers, majors and courses of study that will give them the competence and ability to create value and exploit the economy.
"So what happens, we tend to be essentially training people for the external world and then lose 80 per cent of our tertiary graduates."
"So, our people don't have to flee Jamaica in search of opportunities to employ their sophisticated skills and to earn the kind of money they aspire for," he said.