The government of Jamaica has teamed up with Amber Group to train its citizens in software development.
The first batch of students has already begun learning how to code, according to Martin Rickman, National Coordinator for HOPE (the Housing, Opportunity, Production, and Employment) program.
The training is currently underway in Kingston’s Stony Hill Campus owned by HEART NSTA/Trust, which has also joined hands with the government to implement the program.
After 6 months of training, the students will join a software development firm as interns. There, they “will work alongside senior developers” Rickman added.
Amber Group, founded by an Indian yoga teacher, Dushyant Savadia, has promised jobs for every trainee.
Dushyant arrived in Jamaica around 10 years ago to teach yoga and meditation. He conducted yoga camps in the country’s prisons and poor neighborhoods to reduce crime and violence.
He launched the software development firm (Amber Group) when he ran out of financial resources for yoga teaching, according to the company’s website.
Amber Group has now grown into a business conglomerate, running operations in 25 countries around the globe.
“Jamaica is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this growing need (software). We are an English-speaking country, we have the talent, and now, through the Amber HEART Academy, we will build the competencies,” Savadia said.
The Jamaican government says the program is in sync with its plans to expand and embed STEM subjects in its primary education system.
Dushyant’s former employer The Art of Living Foundation, a Bangalore, India-based non-profit that teaches yoga and meditation around the world, has also collaborated with the Jamaican government for the coding program.
They will not only teach technical skills, but also “the soft skills, such as stress management, problem-solving and creativity, and an innovative mindset…,” Rickman added.