Capacity of Skills Training Programme HEART/National Service Training Agency (NSTA)
According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) annual Labour Force Surveys over the past four years, September 2014 to October 2018, on average 61 per cent of the Jamaican labour force neither held a professional or vocational certification nor has been exposed to any formal skills, apprenticeship or on the job training. The goal under Vision 2030 Jamaica National Development Plan (NDP) – Outcome #2 is for Jamaica to achieve “World-Class Education and Training” by 2030. The aim being to equip Jamaica’s workforce with the skills demanded by an evolving economy and to improve the capacity to support opportunities for education and training. Considering the role of the Human Employment and Resource Training/National Service and Training Agency (HEART/NSTA) in contributing to improving the opportunities for skills training, particularly among the unattached youths, the Auditor General included the audit of the Capacity of Skills Training Programme in our Strategic Audit Plan.
The objective of the audit was to determine whether HEART and the Country received value from the money spent on skills training programmes. We concluded that despite significant efforts, HEART only achieved a certification rate of 45 per cent relative to enrolment in skills training programme for the period 2014-15 to 2018-19, suggesting that it did not obtain optimal value from training expenditure of $30.5 billion. While some of the challenges were not entirely within the control of HEART, there were operational deficiencies that needed to be corrected to improve HEART’s overall effectiveness. The Auditor General urges HEART to immediately implement the recommendations in this report. There is also need for HEART to coordinate with other state agencies to further improve its effectiveness.