The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has intensified plans to establish a Driver Training Institute at the Brown’s Town Community College in St. Ann, to undertake the professional training of trailer drivers and transport mechanics.
This initiative is expected to commence by September 2013, and has been boosted by the gift of a trailer/truck valued at CD$45,000.00 (approximately $4.5 million) to the Ministry by Canadian Employer, Trimac Group of Companies.
The unit was handed over at a ceremony, held at Oceans 11Seafood Restaurant in Ocho Rios, on January 31.
The programme, through which drivers and mechanics will be certified, was conceptualized in July last year when Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Derrick Kellier, visited Canada and saw the opportunities for trailer drivers and mechanics in that country’s trucking industry.
Accepting the gift, Minister Kellier expressed appreciation to the Canadian Trimac Group of Companies, noting that it will be beneficial to both countries, in that drivers and mechanics who are trained and certified, could get an opportunity to work in Canada.
“Jamaica and Canada have shared a very fruitful relationship over the past 50 years or so. The special bond that exists between the people of both countries is cherished, being a part of the Commonwealth where we share a common language,” the Minister said.
He indicated that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is prepared to continue to facilitate the operations that guided the programme into being, and challenged the main planners of the project to seek to move the numbers up and target at least 1,000 persons to be a part of the programme by the end of the year.
For her part, Minister of Youth and Culture, Hon. Lisa Hanna, who is also Member of Parliament for South East St. Ann, where the project is scheduled to be carried out, told JIS News that she is pleased and very excited about the prospects of training and employment for young people in the area.
“This is something that I have been pushing… and when the opportunity came up, I indicated that we had the perfect place, the infrastructure and the road network and buildings,” she said.