The House of Representatives on Tuesday November 19, passed the Human Employment and Resource Training (Amendment) Act, 2019, with 23 amendments.
The legislation makes the necessary legal provision for the merger of the functions of the HEART Trust/NTA with the National Youth Service (NYS), the Apprenticeship Board and the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFFL).
Closing the debate, Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said the merger will create an institution that will refocus all the Government’s training resources into one agency.
“[This is] with the specific aim of tackling the unattached youth, to get them trained, to get them into the labour force in a way that they can have a skill they can earn from meaningfully and that the industry and economy can benefit from,” he said.
Mr. Holness also noted that the merger is not so much about cutting the wage bill or labour force in the organisations that have been merged.
“There will be some consolidation happening over time and, indeed, there has been without much disruption. So, the size of the organisation has changed. There is synergy from the merger of the corporate services of the four entities, and that synergy will lead to better management of the treasury, of the Trust and it will lead to greater synchronisation and coordination of the allied services,” he said.
The legislation will also streamline training processes; provide for such transitional measures as necessary to facilitate the smooth transfer of administrative responsibilities to the Trust; and provide for the issuance, validation or recognition, as required, of certificates or other academic qualifications, distinctions or awards to current and former participants of the training programmes now merged with the HEART Trust.
The Bill will be sent to the Senate for its approval.
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