Approximately $450 million has been allocated to undertake the Technology Advancement Programme (TAP) training currently being conducted across the island.
The programme, which is being executed by the Universal Service Fund (USF), has among its three main objectives getting unattached youth marketable skills that will ensure that they can be employed in the ICT sector, or create jobs within the sector.
Marketing and Public Relations Manager at the USF, Deleen Powell, speaking at a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, said that recognising the importance of the global digital economy and how much persons can benefit by being a part of it, the programme was designed to bridge that gap.
Ms. Powell pointed out that the second objective of the programme was based on the recognition that there are various government entities that could utilise even more technology to ensure the highest level of efficiency.
Therefore, she said, a goal of the programme is to place the TAP participants in these ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to assist with digitisation and data collection.
Miss Powell noted that the programme will provide the MDAs with the human resources and will also assist with the technical infrastructure: “For example, they may need a computer server or computers to complete the digitisation; we will be providing all of that to these entities.”
The final tier of the programme is to fulfil the USF’s mandate, which is to create a knowledge-based society.
“The USF has the mandate to ensure that all Jamaicans are connected and are able to use the Internet, and not just for communication, WhatsApp, Snapchat, but to use the Internet in a meaningful way,” Miss Powell explained.
The TAP, which began on Monday, March 5, with Module 1, will continue with Modules 2 to 9 being offered in each parish for the next 11 weeks.
Meanwhile, the Associate Vice-President for the Faculty of Advanced Skills and Professional Development at Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), Dr. Cornell Brown, indicated that the trainees will be working with a team of very competent coordinators and instructional cohorts in every parish at the USF’s Community Access Points (CAPs).
The TAP will last for 12 months, with the first three months focusing on training conducted by the CMU, and the last nine months being the placement phase.
During the period, participants will be compensated with a stipend of $12,000 per week for the year. The programme is being funded by the USF.