The National Training Agency (NTA)
The National Training Agency (NTA) was established in January 1999 under the guidance of the Ministry of Training and Distance Learning. It is mandated by the Government with the responsibility to create a workforce that is certified, competent, innovative, enterprising and entrepreneurial, which will contribute to the continual development of Trinidad and Tobago. Through the Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) system, the agency is expected to achieve and sustain the strategies defined for developing a more innovative workforce.
The strategy adopted by the CARICOM Ministers of Education in 1990 provided the region with a roadmap for the development of a Regional TVET Strategy. Adoption of the Regional Vocational Qualification framework and the Regional Process for Workforce Training, Assessment and Certification, has been a major milestone for education in the Caribbean, resulting in the use of agreed standards for levels of learning and skills. Given the changing economic environment and the supply-side orientation of the planned economy of many Caribbean countries, a decision was taken by CARICOM to review the Regional TVET Strategy.
The NTA is responsible for the coordination, standardization, monitoring and evaluation of all TVET institutions and schools in Trinidad and Tobago. In keeping with its mandate, the Agency has provided significant quality enhancement services and support to major institutions such as the Metal Industries Company (MIC), the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC), the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP), secondary schools and the private sector. Over 200 Training Providers have been registered with the NTA with over 5,000 full Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ) and 90,000 units awarded. Trinidad and Tobago has achieved the distinction in the Caribbean of issuing the most awards of the CVQs in both institutions and workplaces, and through the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) in the Secondary School system.
In February 2011, the On-the-Job-Training (OJT) Programme was re-launched under the aegis of the NTA. The objective was to develop and implement strategies for the reorganization, expansion and rebranding of the programme. In May and June of 2012, the Agency opened nine (9) OJT sub-regional offices in Trinidad and Tobago, as a means of ensuring sustainable employment for young people. A key purpose of these OJT offices is to connect employers in the area with the relevant, skilled and qualified employees for their businesses. To date, there are five (5) regional OJT offices - East, West, Central, South in Trinidad and one in Scarborough, Tobago. Additionally, there are now nine (9) OJT sub-regional offices in Pt. Lisas, Sangre Grande, Ste. Madeline, Pt. Fortin, Rio Claro, Princes Town, Fyzabad, Debe, and Goldsborough in Tobago.
The establishment of Workforce Assessment Centres (WAC) is further proof of the NTA's commitment to the development of a competent and certified workforce in Trinidad and Tobago. The WACs offer an opportunity for skilled and experienced workers with no certifications to re-enter the formal education system and become certified. The YTEPP, the MIC, and the NESC have all been classified as WACs, with programmes offered ranging from cosmetology to automotive maintenance. 500 assessors and instructors in CVQ have been sourced for this initiative and to date, about 1,600 people have obtained certification at Level 2 and above through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) route.
At the National Training Agency, we uphold the core values of Integrity, Customer Focus, Partnership, Innovation, Quality, Teamwork, Respect and Employee Well-being in every aspect of our operations. We value our clients and stakeholders and appreciate their contributions to our overall success. We are thinkers and problem-solvers who take pride in our work, and we labour together to achieve our common goals. Our employees are among our greatest assets and we appreciate their skills and efforts toward the achievement of the NTA's mandate.
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