From theory to practice: Learning labs get students ready for work in creative industries

By Cait-Amoi Goulbourne

November 1, 2022

The Advance Program donated equipment to the Vocational Training Development Institute and University of Technology, Jamaica to help establish learning labs to train students for the creative industries.  


Lighting design student smiles for the camera while adjusting lighting equipment donated by the Advance Program

The University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) received state-of-the-art lighting equipment for its lighting lab. Students completing the Associate of Science Degree in Entertainment Design, Production and Technology (EDPT) will get hands-on experience operating lighting equipment, so they are better prepared to work in the entertainment sector.   

“Because of the skills that I have garnered, constant maneuvering and interacting with the lighting equipment here in the lab, I can definitely say that I am able to move faster, in terms of somebody who was not able to do that when I just started the programme.”-Joewaine, UTech, EDPT 


Animation student, at the Vocational Training Development Institute, smiles for the camera while using iMac computer donated by the Advance Program

The Vocational Training Development Institute received eight iMac computers and 30 Wacom drawing tablets for its animation lab at its Mandeville campus. Students can develop their animation skills and deliver high-quality animation work.  

“From using the equipment, I am able to do a lot of stuff that I could not do on my phone. For example, lines, lines were hard. It is easier to draw backgrounds and to paint in or to color a character. The drawings are smoother. It has benefited me a lot.”-Kameron, VTDI animation student 

Jamaica Observer feature:


Students at Knockalva Polytechnic College completes research in their resource center, upgraded by the Advance Program

Advance also helped Knockalva Polytechnic College in upgrading its computer lab to a resource center. Knockalva’s resource centre caters to the needs of both students and teachers. It is a space for students to conduct research and complete assignments, and for teachers to deliver lessons. The lab was upgraded with faster computers and laptops, new desks, chairs, a projector and whiteboard.   

“This resource center has helped us a lot. We complete our work much faster. We can multitask because when we are doing our research, we can do more than one [thing] at the same time. In terms of online classes, the internet is much faster [as well as] the audio and the graphics.”-Kevonie, Knockalva student 

Advance works with its partner institutions to deliver market-relevant training. These learning labs help to give students hands-on training and connect them to industry trends and best practices. In 2020, Advance also helped Knockalva Polytechnic College to establish its agro-processing learning lab for students completing the Associate of Applied Science in Agro-Processing Business Management.  

The Advance Program is funded by USAID and implemented by FHI 360.  

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