Wed | Nov 29, 2023

HEART and NCU join forces to expand training

Published:Monday | March 27, 2023 | 4:35 PM
From left: Dr Taneisha Ingleton, managing director of HEART/NSTA Trust; Professor Lincoln Edwards, president of Northern Caribbean University along with Dr Charlene Sharpe, associate provost, sign an agreement for both institutions to provide training and certification. Witnessing the occasion (standing from left) are Desrine Pearson, corporate counsel, HEART-NSTA; Donovan Jones, director, Strategic Planning Monitoring and Evaluation. – Contributed Photo

HEART/NSTA Trust and Northern Caribbean University (NCU) recently signed a wide-ranging memorandum of understanding (MOU) to accelerate human capital development in Jamaica.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the heads of both institutions committed to joining forces to positively transform the lives of young people in communities across the island through training and certification.

Dr Taneisha Ingleton, managing director of HEART/NSTA Trust, said the agency was committed to going out to the communities to sit with the young men and show them another way that “where there is a skill there is a way”. She stated that NCU and HEART/NSTA were “perfectly placed and well positioned to lead this transformation”.

Dr Ingleton noted that the partnership between both entities is vital, as it provides the relevant opportunities to spur investment while building the human capital to satisfy the demands of the economy.

In welcoming the agreement, NCU president, Professor Lincoln Edwards said it heralded the “dawning of a new day for youth empowerment in Jamaica.” He indicated that NCU, through its owner, the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was willing to make available the more than 750 places of worship and educational facilities islandwide for the delivery of training opportunities by HEART/NSTA in communities. The sharing of resources is one area of collaboration under the MOU, which was signed at the HEART/NSTA Trust Oxford Road, New Kingston office on March 10.

Both institutions currently offer programmes aimed at assisting individuals and communities to establish and effectively operate and grow small enterprises. However, this will be ramped up under the recent agreement which allows for the expansion of entrepreneurial skills development, and entrepreneurship education with emphasis on incubator development; innovation; community-based interventions; technology and productivity initiatives; and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

 The MOU provides for other areas of collaboration including, but not limited to:

  • The articulation of HEART/NSTA Trust's graduates into NCU courses of study
  • Joint development and delivery of professional advancement programmes
  • Sharing of resources located islandwide to maximise the use of resources and avoid duplication
  • Staff development including mutual professional advancement of instructors and lecturers
  • Dual certification – the awarding of HEART/NSTA Trust skill-based certification to NCU students as an option complementing their courses of study
  • Joint research projects on topics of mutual interest such as TVET/Career and Technical Education
  • Joint public education initiatives, such as public lectures, conferences, and other colloquia
  • NCU will provide technical support for training in TVET skill areas by HEART/NSTA Trust

Dr Ingleton noted that the partnership with NCU provides an exit option for persons who completed a HEART/NSTA training programme to advance to higher education. Both CEOs underscored the importance of demonstrating love, care and affirmation in relating to the youth being trained.

“Love begets love,” declared Professor Edwards. “When you show love and care to these young people in these communities, they will reciprocate, and this will bring about a transformation of the Jamaican way of living that we have never seen before. Crime and criminality will be impacted in a positive way.”

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