Monday, January 8, 2018

Tapping Into the Future Today

Young people are predisposed to technology, they seem to just have a knack.  True.  But they still need guidance to truly harness their abilities.

Enter TAP.  The Technology Advancement Programme referred to as TAP, will screen, select, train and in effect, employ, 1,000 young adults in ICT (Information and Communications Technology). 1,000!

The yearlong programme will take the participants through an intensive syllabus in the classroom and through to real-world, hands-on training in the work world.

Ministry Project

The Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, through the Universal Service Fund (USF), has a mandate to “Support information and communications technology programmes that specifically target venerable groups including youth and disabled persons”.  The TAP programme brilliantly addresses this mandate in several ways.

First, TAP is open to unattached youth between the ages of 18 and 35 residing in all 14 parishes.  Second, no prior ICT skills are necessary as the robust programme is designed to train participants at all educational levels; that means that beginners, intermediates and experts will all be accommodated.  Third, the programme provides a stipend for participants to remove any possible barriers to participation.

Then, most importantly, upon completion of TAP, the graduates will be well equipped to become tech entrepreneurs or seek gainful employment in the private or public sector.  Further, the programme also features placement services for participants placing them based on their competence, interests and the needs of the host organization in the areas of ICT Research, Data Analysis and Digitization.

Launch Event

At the launch event, the Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr The Hon. Andrew Wheatley noted that in effect, TAP prepares these young people to be active and successful participants in our knowledge-based digital society.  It’s no secret that the Government of Jamaica (GOJ) is committed to ushering the island into the forefront of what some refer to as the fourth industrial revolution.

Technology is not isolated.  It touches everything!!  All industries, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Education and Health among many others, all benefit from technology.  The reality is that there is no option; technology is necessary for all industries.

As the Minister noted, TAP will empower the population to truly harness the opportunities presented by technology.

The comprehensive programme will be rolled out islandwide with the assistance of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU).  CMU President, Prof Fitz Pinnock attended the launch to show his support for the programme.  Also in attendance were Mrs Hillary Alexander, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology, Mr Robert Lawrence, Board Chairman of the USF and USF CEO Suzette Buchanan.

The TAP programme kicks off in January 2018.

Watch the full launch.

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