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Skills Training in the General Adult Population

During the 1990s, one of the major aims of the Jamaican government, in its adult education drive, was to provide vocational skills training for the island’s youths and adults outside of the formal education system. This led to much emphasis on:

The Human Employment and Resource Training Trust/National Training Agency (HEART Trust/NTA). This is aimed at providing and producing skilled and semi-skilled workers to meet the requirements of sectors vital to the country’s development. It is available to individuals over 17 years of age. Most programmes are offered at three levels: entry level, journey man level, and the technician or supervisory level. There are 30 courses offered by the programme, with an annual average annual enrolment of 12,373 individuals. The community training projects put on by the Social Development Commission (SDC). The popular programme offered is the Community Centre Programme which trains individuals in home-making and craft. Between 1990 and 1994, approximately 2,000 individuals benefited from

this programme. The National Youth Service

. This caters for individuals between the ages of 17-24.

Approximately 9,500 individuals have benefited from this programme. The Special Training and Empowerment Programme (STEP I & II). This programme assists individuals between the ages of 17-35 to develop life training, hospitality, and entrepreneurial skills. To date, some 2,461 individuals have benefited from this programme. The Skills 2000 project. This programme assists individuals in organising small scale businesses after a period of vocational or entrepreneurial training. Some 7,500 adults have benefited from this programme.

These programmes show that the Jamaican government has a high level of commitment to skills training for adults in the general population, and is acting in accordance with the EFA guidelines on skills training in this respect.

Skills Training in the Prison Population

In keeping with its aim to rehabilitate, the Correctional Services have embarked upon programmes to make inmates productive entities within the institutions. They include COSPROD, the Correctional Services Production Company, a registered company involved in the production of agricultural products, livestock, poultry, farming, and aquaculture. Vocational skills are also taught by NGOs, government agencies, and civil groups. There is, however, no set programme such as HEART Trust/NTA or STEP, as there is in the general population. It can therefore be concluded that there is less emphasis on skills training among the incarcerated than in the general population.

Programmes to Effect a Positive Approach Towards Health, Attitudes, and Values in the General Adult Population

In 1993, the Prime Minister of Jamaica called for the nation to embark on a programme of values and attitudes, in order to move towards a gentler society. This change in values and attitudes was intended to reorient the population towards a more “value-based way of life,” in a society that was perceived to have become an unkind and violent one. The electronic and print media were the major avenues for the promotion of this drive among the adult population. The emphasis was on tolerance, respect, self-worth,


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