Tue | Dec 5, 2023

Growth & Jobs | HEART improving workforce skills

Published:Tuesday | November 21, 2023 | 12:06 AM
Director for Training Infrastructure Development at the HEART NSTA/Trust, Dwayne Bent.
Director for Training Infrastructure Development at the HEART NSTA/Trust, Dwayne Bent.

The HEART NSTA/Trust is looking to revamp and introduce new programmes that will make Jamaica’s workforce globally competitive.

Director for Training Infrastructure Development at HEART, Dwayne Bent, said that the entity is in a phase of renewal and is creating programmes to enhance workforce skills.

“It is important that we zoom in on several sectors. We have our renewable energy sector, manufacturing; we must manufacture to export to close the trade deficit that Jamaica has had over many years,” Bent said.

“We are always working to ensure that the construction industry is replete with the skillssets required, and it is very important that we use modern agricultural practices to sustain our food supply chain and our export markets. These are the areas we must tap into,” he added.

Bent cited tourism, the creative industry, information and communications technology as the other targeted sectors.

He noted that with the world experiencing the Fifth Industrial Revolution, it is important that the society is equipped with certain skill sets to manipulate new and emerging artificial intelligence.

“Where you have artificial devices giving instructions to machines and you don’t have the intelligence of humans capable of monitoring and coordinating that, you will have a travesty,” he said.

“The machines and the technology that we are bringing into our training institutions have the capability to take instructions from humans, as well as instructions from machines, and this is what we are using to manifest a fully digital training society,” Bent said.

He gave a three-year timeline for the implementation or improvement of specific programmes at the training entity.

“Some of the emerging skills that HEART will field over the next three years are plumbing and heating systems, heat ventilation and air-conditioning systems, industrial electronics and renewable energy. We have to build these into our programmes so that when the trainee graduate goes in the industry, they understand how to react,” Bent said.