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HEART/NTA graduate over a 1000 out west

Published:Friday | November 20, 2015 | 2:23 PMOkoye Henry
Some of the 500 students, who recently completed training in the HEART Trust/NTA skills training at the institution’s North West Region, are seen here in attendance at their graduation ceremony at the West Jamaica Conference in Mt. Salem, Montego Bay.

A grand total of 1079 persons from western Jamaica are now certified and ready to join the workforce, having completed their skills training programmes for the 2014-2015 period in institutions within the HEART Trust/NTA?s North West Region.

Of the number, 500 attended the graduation ceremony, which took place at the West Jamaica Conference in Mt. Salem, Montego Bay, St. James, on Thursday, November 12.

The event, which was held under the theme, ?Empowering and Advancing our Nation Through TVET,? featured graduates from 13 HEART institutions aligned to the Northwest TVET Institute, which comprises the Falmouth Campus, in Trelawny; the Cornwall Automotive Campus and the Granville Campus, in St. James; the Kenilworth Campus, in Hanover; and the Petersfield and Seaford Town Vocational Training Centres, in Westmoreland.

The graduates were presented with certificates for completing courses such as Digital Animation, Computer Servicing and Support, Commercial Food Preparation, Business Administration, Accounting Clerk, Data Operation and Food and Beverage Bar Service among other skill areas.

Robert Gregory, CARICOM?s Regional TVET Strategy Consultant, who was the keynote speaker at the event, implored the graduates to adapt to the accelerated and constant change of the working world, noting that some current professions may become obsolete within a few years.

?The new skills you have acquired in your programmes and training for your profession will be obsolete and old fashion in five years time, sometimes three years time,? said Gregory. ?To prosper, you must have an attitude that embraces change. You must in your work, continue to invent better ways, new techniques to do your jobs and make yourselves more productive and competitive.?


Gregory also used the occasion to urge his audience to commit themselves to lifelong learning that will further impact the country as a whole in a positive way.

?In 2015, over 85 per cent of our people are literate. This is how far we have come as a people in 53 years,? said Gregory, noting the significant move the nation has made from the 32 per cent that existed when Jamaica gained independence in 1962.