In declaring that many people without degrees are “extremely skilful”, Amber Group Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Dushyant Savadia, says it time for both the private and public sector in Jamaica to desist from only hiring individuals with the required university or college degrees.
“It’s time now to focus on human capital. In my opinion, skills are not equivalent to degrees and degrees are not equivalent to skills…,” declared Savadia.
He was speaking during the graduation ceremony for the first cohort of 25 trainees under the Amber HEART Institute of Coding at AC Marriot Hotel in New Kingston last week.
The graduates earned level-four certification in coding from the programme.
While stating that the world has changed and persons without tertiary qualifications have made valuable contributions to society and businesses, Savadia disclosed that he also has no degree, “as I didn’t even graduate, and I hope you know that I was kicked out by my parents when I was 19 (years old), because I was a drug addict, alcoholic and a chain smoker.”
While recognising that “persons with formal degrees continue to pave the way for the society,” the businessman said the time has come for entities in Jamaica to “embark on the journey” to employ persons because “they are skilful and not… because they don’t have the relevant degree that your business or public sector is looking for.
“I’m being very frank today,” he maintained.
In using the graduates of the coding programme as an example, Savadia shared that they are now among the best coders in the island, and they have created a number of applications that are geared towards solving a multiplicity of issues in the country.
But he said the students did not only benefit from coding skills.
“… They’ve also been trained through the workshops of the Art of Living Foundation, which is one of the world’s largest non-profit organisation and has impacted 800 million people around the world in 153 countries, to focus on integrity, human values, compassion, and keeps a mind-set of serving the society,” stated Savadia.
The first batch of graduates was immersed in an intensive six-month programme taught by a team of highly qualified master coders from the Amber Group, followed by a six-month internship programme, in which they developed software programmes alongside senior developers.
The successful graduates are now NCTVET-certified, and have guaranteed job offers with the Amber Group, Digicel and National Commercial Bank.