My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why TVET for Jamaican High Schools by September 2018 as Skilled Workers demand Rising

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Why TVET for Jamaican High Schools by September 2018 as Skilled Workers demand Rising

“Part of what we will be embarking on come this September is a really robust career training programme in our secondary schools, as a number of our students are still unaware of some of the new areas that they can go into. A lot of them still have misconceptions about the areas that can bring them significant wealth”.

State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green speaking about TVET (technical and vocational education and training) in secondary schools

Looks like more Secondary schools, including the more traditional Schools, will be going Technical.

For the Academic Year coming in September 2018, will be adopting TVET (technical and vocational education and training) as reported in the “Education Ministry to Increase Promotion of TVET in Secondary Schools”, published July 19, 2018 By Rochelle Williams, The Jamaica Information Service.

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The State Minister, who was delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony for World Youth Skills Day 2018 on Tuesday July 17th 2018 at the Garmex HEART Academy in Kingston. called for a “mindset change” among Jamaicans.

The event featured plenary sessions on careers in the following areas:

1.      Allied health services
2.      Automotive industry
3.      Booth displays in information and communications technology (ICT)
4.      Digital animation
5.      Engineering
6.      Marketing self for future jobs
7.      Social media and cybercrime

Discussions are under way with the following actors to get this latest government initiative on it way:

1.      NPSC (National Parenting Support Commission)
2.      PTA (National Parent-Teacher Association)

This means more of the TVET courses may be coming to a Traditional High School, specifically courses in the following five (5) areas:

1.      Agriculture
2.      Business Education
3.      Home Economics
4.      Industrial Education
5.      Visual Arts

Students with technical and vocational education and training, long seen as slow learners are now been seen as hands-on or Kinesthetic learners whose skills are in high demand. So why is this the case?

TVET and HEART Trust/NTA - Emergent Occupations for Vision 2030

He made these statements against the backdrop of the World Youth Skills Day 2018 held on July 17 at the HEART Trust/NTA’s Garmex Academy in Kingston.

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Held under the theme ‘New Skills for Emerging Jobs: Improving the Image of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)’, it hope to encourage young people, aged 15 to 25, to choose the path of acquiring and developing their special skills and make a career out of it, builds their long terms earning potential.

Already the HEART Trust/NTA is focusing on training young people for employment in areas of the economy that are currently experiencing high levels for employment:

1.      BPO (Business process outsourcing)
2.      Tourism and hospitality
3.      Business Logistics
4.      Animation
5.      Construction
6.      Agriculture

Apparently, the Government is set to make a windfall from new and emerging careers in TVET as new career paths are on the horizon for skilled workers as noted in the article “Gov’t Increasing Focus on Skills Training”, published July 18, 2018 By Rochelle Williams, The Jamaica Information Service.

This as there are 21st Century skills and training opportunities in these areas that will be needed to enable Vision 2030 such as:

1.      Hydroponics
2.      Mechatronics
3.      Mobile robotics
4.      3D printing
5.      Mobile application development
6.      Videography
7.      Make-up artistry (for film)
8.      Renewable energy (photovoltaic installation)

The plan is to have the School guidance counselors provide advice to 5th form students and parents on TVET careers. This would include telling about their options for training, which would include the HEART Trust/NTA, as more than 67% of our workforce is untrained and uncertified.

 According to studies conducted by the HEART Trust’s LMRI (Labour Market Research and Intelligence) Department, these areas will result in new and emerging occupational areas such as:

1.      3D Visualisers
2.      Big Data Engineers
3.      Renewable Energy Specialists
4.      Accident Reconstruction Specialists
5.      Robotics Engineers
6.      Mechatronic Engineers
7.      Smart House Infrastructure Designers
8.      Drone Pilots

So why did we not know this before? It all has to do without the perception of skilled workers.

The Perception of Skilled Labour in Jamaica - Increase foreign exchange as well as Nation builders

This is due to the misconception of Technical and Vocational people as being slow learners.

Yet interestingly, they have the greatest potential to earn the most money due to the need for skilled workers internationally, as they are needed for the Jamaican economy to experience growth as noted in the article “We need more skilled workers — BOJ”, published Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Karena Bennett, The Jamaica Observer.

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To quote the State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green: “We have a bad perception of going into skills. We want to ensure that we are going into our schools with our guidance counsellors to have career training sessions where we say to our young people, these are the new areas. We have to partner with the PTAs to counsel the parents, because often they are the ones that discourage our young people (from pursuing alternative career paths). We have to explain to them that these are areas of growth”.

In fact, most Jamaicans who migrate to the USA seeking work are skilled technical workers as noted in my blog article entitled “How Jamaicans can apply for H-2A and H-2B VISA to work in the US of A”. 

Ditto too persons who migrate to Canada, especially part of Canada, due to the low-level of skilled labour in those areas as noted in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Database 876 helps Jamaicans find US$51000 yearly jobs in Saskatchewan, Canada”.

The same can be said for the UK and the Middle East, where skilled workers are needed to help in the building of infrastructure as those economies transition from a Oil Exporting Economy to one based on Tourism, the Service Sector and Renewables as noted in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “How Jamaicans can find work in UK and Dubai”. 

This translates to increase foreign exchange inflows to the island via remittances. More importantly, Jamaica needs skilled workers to help us build our own infrastructure as well, poising the nation for growth.

But for young people to take advantage of these opportunities, they need to be properly trained as pointed out by Managing Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Janet Dyer, quite: “Today’s World Youth Skills Day is one of the many activities that we are using to ensure that our young people in Jamaica get all the opportunities that are available to get trained, certified and to contribute to the productivity of this nation”.

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So not only are skilled workers going to be necessary for Jamaica to achieve growth, but the potential for employment is getting better and better as their field is expanding. Jamaicans needs to move now to have more TVET programs in more Traditional High School as well as strengthen Technical and Vocational Schools and improve the view people have of these skills area.

Kinesthetic skills take time to learn, usually via observation, practice and repetition, but will help the individual to earn for life.

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