The Human Employment and Resource Training Trust, National Training Agency known to most Jamaicans simply as ‘HEART’ is a key driver on Jamaica’s road to development. Formed in 1982 and restructured by the amended HEART Act in 1991, the Organisation focuses primarily on stimulating economic growth and job creation. This can only be achieved through the creation of a highly skilled, productive and competitive workforce.
The HEART Trust/NTA operates 27 Technical and Vocational Education and Training locations which focus on providing a variety of training options to ALL Jamaicans seeking to advance their career options. With programmes geared at transforming the lives of school leavers as well as employed persons who require training and certification, HEART Trust/NTA is active in engaging members of the society.

I  was a HEART Trainee working for the SAGICOR. I remember the day that I was called and asked if I was interested in starting the programme, as they already had my resume in the system for a job that I applied for before but was not successful in the interview. I declined. As far as I was concerned, I have a degree, wah mi a do wid dat? 

I declined and told the rep that I’ll pass on this opportunity. It was as if God was talking to me right after. All I could think of was yah eediat? You only have a degree showing academic qualification but you can only get call centre work? Getting this would make job applications a bit easier for you.

So Jermaine decided to call back and I got the details for the interview. This was the first time in which I prayed so much to God for something I want. As far as I  was concerned, this is an opportunity I had to have and doing this could take me places.

On the day of the interview, while waiting to see the panel, I received another phone call from another company who wanted to do an interview for another call centre. The confidence I displayed during the phone call got me another one for the following week after the one I had that day. I was high for 10 minutes.

I walked into the interview at Sagicor and spoke with a level of confidence I tend to express alone in my room. They called me to start the next day……I cried.

My transition from a call centre to an office was and still is an interesting one. I had a culture shock where I was told it was OK if I had to leave to conduct business and go over my lunch hour (once i don’t abuse it). I’ll still get paid. I got the weekends off, I had my own desk and office items.

Then there was the negative side, not everyone was happy at my transition from one company to the next and the fact that I was a HEART trainee. As the stigma is still attached that you can’t do much with their certificate. Employees were shocked when I told them that I am involved in club activities, I write blogs and I was then the VP for my Optimist Club.

When I think about where I was before Sagicor and after I’m happy I made the decision to leave. Most of the persons I’ve met here started just like me and now hold permanent positions. So why can’t it be the same for me? 

There are basics to administrative duties that I didn’t know where important. Through the Business Administration programme I also received on the job training and I am able to make my experience here a better one. Most importantly, if you want to move up you HAFFI work. The more you know and apply yourself, the better it is for you. This doesn’t mean I have forgotten my previous jobs, as they have helped shape who I am. They have helped me to move out of my comfort zone and work to improving myself while here at Sagicor.

This new job has been a humbling one for me,  I have come to respect the HEART Trust NTA for what they have been doing over the years, to provide skills training to those who seek it. 

It has taught me that I should not limit myself to learn, I have grown in more ways than one and have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful people. Even if my contract was not renewed ( it has). I can be assured that the experience gained from working with Sagicor can take me places.



The Beaten’s Perspective

Many of us have had the touch of the leather belt on our skins because of the trouble we gave when we were younger. Some with a different level of trouble got the shoes, broom, fan belt, metre stick and even the wire. At the end of the day, we all turned out pretty good, we can can laugh at the moments in which we got it, what we tried to do to avoid it and what our parents did to get us to stay put an ‘tek lick’.

One of the effects is when we see younger siblings or relatives acting up, we the third party are offended at the responses and actions they let out. As we have always been told don’t spare the rod and spoil the child (the phrase was actually coined by Samuel Butler in 1664 in one of his poems).

Unfortunately, there are those who with those beatings got bruised, and abused in the process. This should not be the case as the repercussions of such acts do not help with nurturing the child to be better individuals. Many persons would argue that corporal punishment is not the way to go and that it should be ruled out of the nurturing process. Yes, you can always talk to your child and tell them that what they are doing or did was wrong and expect that from the negotiations things will change. Granted this does not include children who may have a mental dysfunction and would not understand at the moment the change you are trying to instill. This is for the children who are quite normal but are just rude.

So…. what do you do is when you reprimand your child or relative, and he/she still doesn’t get it?

Believe me, that first slap you give the child will have them shocked as they never expected it. Let’s be real, we do test our parents to know their limit. However there is a certain way to achieve this; if successful, each parent knows their child and knows the effect of some acts. “Just save the yeye” as many Jamaican parents would say.

As an older sibling and former beaten child, I believe these steps below can help to better nurture your kids in the way you want. In the end creating positive results than negative ones.

Step 1- Educate them

It’s always good before they act up to let them know where you stand on certain things. For example, if you are going to be on the road and know your budget cannot include KFC or Burger King. Tell them. Let there be that initial understanding that you will not be able to fulfill their needs at all times.

Step 2- Warn them

When that child begins to act up, warn them. Remind them that you are not able to buy the food and that you can get something else. If they continue then you let them know what will happen if they don’t stop. If the complaints still have not ceased, then you warn again.

Step 3- Administer the Punishment 

If they still continue this is it… you go in and just do it, don’t say I’m going to slap you now. Just do it.

Step 4- Debrief

After the act, this is the time, you sit with your child and let them know that what happened was because the act they did was bad. We are all human and at times we mess up. However, create that distinction between good and bad behaviour and also when beatings can be expected. This can then lessen the likelihood of you having to raise your hand.

Each child is different and once you share the same space with them,  you will then know how to treat each child accordingly. The steps mentioned above may not work all the time. However it should not allow for your frustrations to come through and you beat the child to a pulp.