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Students to benefit from City & Guilds certification

Published:Sunday | December 15, 2019 | 12:00 AM
From left: Grace McLean, acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education; Alando Terrelonge, state minister for education; Kirstie Donnelly, group managing director, credentialing, City & Guilds; and Kasan Troupe at the signing of the agreement between the Ministry of Education and City & Guilds recently.

A recent initiative that should see over 250,000 Jamaican learners benefiting from globally recognised certification opportunities was recently signed between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MoEYI) and City & Guilds at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston.

Over a ten-year period, City & Caribbean Office will deliver accreditation in math and English, engineering, skills proficiency, and customer service.

Also, starting in 2020, City & Guilds will be providing digital certificates to Jamaican students upon the successful completion of their programmes.

Digital badges/certificates, fast becoming an international standard, are a designation to display and easily share the skills learners have achieved.

The introduction of the digital certificates will cut costs as well as assist “greatly with the portability of the certificate for our young people”, said Grace McLean, acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information. “Each student will be able to access it anywhere, anytime on their mobile phones.”

The acting permanent secretary further said that the digital certificates would be placed in a database that would allow employers to access students’ profile.

Speaking of the partnership between the Government of Jamaica and City & Guilds, she pointed out: “The statistics indicated that up to 2012, some 40 per cent of our national high-school cohort was not entered for the regional examinations in math and English.”

“The ministry adopted a policy of alternate pathways for secondary education with the strategic purpose to give students the opportunity to succeed and leave school with qualifications in math, English, and a skill.

“The national performance average is now 65 per cent for math and English over the nine-year period and trending up,” she added.


State Minister for Education, Youth and Information Alando Terrelonge emphasised the potential impact of the educational offerings from City & Guilds.

“With all the programmes and all the investments made, there will be no prosperity for Jamaica without the inclusion of the youth, and the Government is committed to realising the benefits to the youth cohort from partnerships with entities such as City & Guilds,” he said.

Kirstie Donnelly, managing director, skills credentialing, City & Guilds Group, commended the ministry for embracing digital credentials as the way forward and keeping up with the changing needs of students. “Thank you for being so innovative in your use of digital credentials so much so that next year, I believe you will be issuing something in the region of 50,000 digital badges, and that will be the first for us,” she said.

Donnelly pointed out that the global scope of City & Guilds was a tremendous benefit to learners in an increasingly competitive jobs market. She invited to the podium three young men who had benefited from City & Guilds programmes, including engineering and English language, to tell of their experience and the value they had derived from the courses and qualifications.

Between 2011 and 2019, City & Guilds has awarded 96,000 certificates to Jamaican students in math and English. The organisation has also awarded 3,300 digital badges for its customer service qualification for young people looking to work in the global services sector.

In closing, City & Guilds representative for Jamaica and the Caribbean Marva Duncanson paid tribute to individuals and organisations that had critically supported City & Guilds and its programmes. “We are dedicated to offering world-class service to the Ministry of Education and their stakeholders, our teachers and students,” she said.

She reminded attendees that while adding City & Guilds Skills Proficiency Awards, “We will continue to offer English Skills (three stages) and Math Skills (three stages) to students across three categories of learners: MoEYI grade 11; MoEYI CAP, which is now termed technical sixth form; and HEART Trust.”