The Vocational Training Development Institute (VTDI) was established in 1970 with the assistance of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The institute was established to address the following aims:
- To train instructors to deliver vocational education in the private and public sectors.
- To retrain and upgrade the skills of workers for employment and production.
- To prepare, develop and document industrial vocational training syllabuses, standards, manuals and literature for the use of the public and private sectors.
- To train and certify students and workmen at all levels and grades.
It was established in response to the growth in the bauxite industry. Workers were needed in this industry and they lacked the necessary training. Skilled craftsmen with no teacher training qualifications were recruited. The VTDI provided pedagogical training and helped to strengthen their technical competence. It was initially operated by a team of international experts with Jamaican counterparts.
Since 1990, the VTDI has been managed by the Human Employment and Resource Training National Training Agency (HEART Trust/NTA) and has been described as the tertiary arm of the agency. The agency was established in 1982 and is funded by 3 % of the employer’s wage bill.
Today, the institute has expanded its original mandate of solely providing a diploma in technical and vocational education and training, by offering programmes to the degree level. The Competency Based Education and Training approach (CBET) to design, delivery and assessment of programmes is now central to the teaching/learning experience provided at the institution. The relationship with industries has strengthened and regular consultations are held with employers to ensure that our graduates are meeting their needs. The VTDI is a registered tertiary institution with the University Council of Jamaica.