New-look HEART Trust coming
The HEART Trust/NTA is proposing amendments to the Apprenticeship Act to get rid of some training areas which it now covers and to introduce professions which were not on the radar when it was introduced more that 50 years ago.
Executive director of the HEART Trust, Dr Carolyn Hayle, told The Sunday Gleaner that the entity is revving up its marketing programme to attract students who want training in these emerging professions.
"One of the things we are looking at is the apprenticeship programme but the Act has to be amended in order for us to address some new areas that have emerged, and to get rid of some of the older areas that we no longer use in the economy," said Hayle.
That is a view shared by acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education Grace McLean.
"We are awaiting a Cabinet submission from HEART to make changes to the Apprenticeship Act to give us more flexibility, because the Act is from the late 1950s," said McLean
"This will allow for more flexibility to revamp and provide a new kind of apprenticeship programme," added McLean, as she noted that the Apprenticeship Act includes some skills which are no longer in demand.
"It includes skills such as millwright - (a person who installs, maintains and repairs stationary industrial machinery and mechanical equipment by interpreting drawings, performing layouts and assembling parts until they are in working order) and others no longer en vogue," said McLean.
She pointed out that the 21 skills contained in the Act are the only ones that can be included in the state-approved apprenticeship programme.
"So in developing a new Act, we can allow for new skills for building the economy," stated McLean.
In the meantime, the HEART Trust/NTA is continuing its re-branding process to attract more students.
Two years ago, the organisation revamped its school of cosmetology and created what is now the HEART College of Beauty Services.
This allows persons interested in pursuing an associate degree or diploma in beauty services.
Other HEART Trust/NTA facilities have also been rebranded as part of this change.