The Government has removed the requirement for tuition fees on all programmes offered by the HEART NSTA-Trust up to Level 4.
The announcement was made on Thursday by Prime Minister Andrew Holnes during his contribution to the Budget Debate.
The HEART NSTA-Trust is the primary training agency for skilled workers in Jamaica.
“In furtherance of the policy directive to increase the size of the trained labour force, effective April 1, 2023, the HEART NSTA-Trust will remove all tuition and administrative fees from its programmes up to Level 4…” said Holness.
He emphasised that the decision to remove the fees will allow for access to vocational training for all Jamaicans regardless of their economic standing.
“This will be a game changer for underserved youth who see fees as an obstacle to their participation in formal training,” the prime minister declared.
He said the HEART Trust has been directed to modernise its offerings to keep pace with the worldwide trend in automation, smart manufacturing, artificial intelligence and high-value services.
As such, he noted that the training agency is in the process of developing centres of excellence and STEM laboratories at several of its locations across the island.
Meanwhile, the HEART Trust has enrolled over 13,000 adult literacy learners, and has certified nearly 3,000 with diplomas equivalent to the high school programme, Holness shared.