HEART NSTA Trust 2022

FROM SMALL ACORNS GROW MIGHTY OAKS! “I have many wonderful memories of HEART. I recall the great pleasure I had in giving it birth after I carried the idea for 30 years.” -Most Hon. Edward Seaga, former Prime Minister and Founder of HEART speaking at the Renaming of the HEART Corporate Building in his honour on November 17, 2013. The Human Employment and Resource Training(HEART)Trustwasestablished in 1982 in a milieu of significant stress for the Jamaica labour market. Industries and businesses were still reeling from the effects of the severe brain drain that resulted from the migration of over 270 thousand Jamaicans between 1971 and 1980, which accounted for the loss of as much as 40% of the Jamaican middle class, according to the Encyclopedia of Nations. Employers were hard-pressed to find skilled, competent workers, while many school leavers, though academically qualified, were not being employed to fill available jobs because of lack of experience. In 1982, national surveys indicated that there were 80,000 young people between the age of 17 and 20, who were neither in schools nor in jobs. HEART, the brainchild of former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga, was a remarkable response to address a massive manpower problem for the productive sector, while opening access to skills training and employment for tens of thousands of young people. HEARTwas also supplemented by a smallerscale programme called Solidarity, which provided opportunities for young people to set up their own microbusinesses with the benefit of interest-free loans without collateral after a period of training and agreeing to supervisory mentorship from a volunteer in the business community. Mr Seaga, in his memoirs, described HEART as being among his favourite national institutions because “it saved thousands of wasted youth by giving them a second opportunity to create a better life. It gave me great personal satisfaction that I played a role in bettering their lives.” Observers have also credited the genius of Mr Seaga to make the HEART Trust selffinancing on the basis of a 3% levy on the payroll of all eligible businesses with a turnover exceeding a stipulated amount, which excluded small business operations. Forty years later, Jamaican employers have remained steadfast in making their monthly 3% contributions into the HEART Trust Fund to finance the many and varied programme offerings and services of the Agency. TheHEART/National ServiceTrainingAgency Trust is the largest provider of technical vocational education and training in the English-speaking Caribbean, facilitating working age and retired Jamaicans to maximize their potential for work, volunteerism, mentorship and national service, and doing its part to advance the country’s growth and development. The Trust salutes the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, whose creation of HEART has bequeathed an enduring legacy to the nation. The groundbreaking ceremony for the Ebony Park Academy in Clarendon in July 1987. 2