HEART graduates being groomed for the workforce
Philando Neil, Gleaner Intern
HEART TRUST/NTA Garmex Academy has partnered with several stakeholders to assess how graduates of the institution can be adequately prepared to meet the demands of the labour market.
The institution has been working closely with the Ministry of Education to upgrade some of the academy's courses offered. Officials are also looking at introducing programmes geared at providing graduates with the requisite skills to meet the needs of the competitive work environment - locally, regionally and globally.
Academy Manager Andrea Toussaint disclosed that a newly integrated training system would help graduates transition better into the working world.
"We are looking at an apprenticeship programme that will give students the opportunity to work in various industries, based on their studies. Through this programme, students will receive hands-on training and gain valuable experience," Toussaint said.
She was speaking at a stakeholders' forum held at the institution on Wednesday.
By the end of the year, the academy hopes to introduce an entertainment, web-page and computer-graphics programme, as well as to offer Levels Three, to Five, certification in areas such as early-childhood practical nursing and fashion designing.
Chief executive officer of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Valerie Veira, in her keynote address, urged students to unleash their creativity to capitalise on the benefits of the fashion industry.
"The fashion industry is highly competitive and we need to ensure our students are well trained to meet the demands," she said.
"We have to put in the proper policy, framework that embraces this creativity. This is one way our economy is going to move forward, if we support the talent of our young, upcoming entrepreneurs," Veira added. Students will be selected to complete Levels Three, to Five, of the fashion-design programme based on their skill and competence.