Unattached youth have been charged by Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, to take advantage of the removal of fees at the HEART/NSTA Trust to access training opportunities.
Under the measure, which became effective on April 1 and was first announced by the Prime Minister in his Budget Debate presentation on March 16, Jamaicans will no longer be required to pay tuition or administrative fees for HEART programmes up to level four (associate degree).
“Important steps have been made with the removal of fees. Every Jamaican who wants to get training can do so because HEART has a programme for you,” Mr. Holness said.
The Prime Minister delivered the keynote address at the official launch of the Jamaica National Service Corps (JNSC) Residential Camps on Friday (March 24), at the AC Marriott Hotel in St. Andrew.
The programme is designed to take unattached youngsters from marginalized communities and expose them to a period of skills training and personal and character development.
Over a six-week period, the participants will receive the necessary exposure and engagement to develop their skills, gain new experiences and transform their lives.
The Prime Minister said that the “ultimate intent is to change their mindset and outlook on life”. He noted that with the launch of the residential camps programme, HEART/NSTA Trust is now a “complete” national service and training agency
Noting that the entity is mandated to provide the training necessary to support industry, the Prime Minister said that HEART also has a responsibility to unlock the human resource potential within vulnerable communities and equip youngsters residing in these areas with skills to enter the labour force.
Implemented in 2017 as part of the Government’s Housing, Opportunity, Production, and Employment Programme (HOPE), the JNSC targets young people aged 18 to 23, allowing them to be fully empowered through national service.
It is structured to provide continual development over a one-year service period, with the objective of developing a range of life skills and build sound character to make persons more versatile and better equipped for success in their chosen career path.
Following the passage of the Defence (Amendment) Act in the House of Representatives in 2017, the JNSC is now the standard mode of enlistment for persons joining the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to serve as full-time soldiers.