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MANDEVILLE — A total of 150 young persons, who successfully completed the Jamaica 4-H Clubs' Tractor Operation and Maintenance, and Food Preparation programmes, were presented with certificates at a graduation ceremony held recently at the Denbigh 4-H Training Centre in Clarendon.

Reporting on the Food Preparation Programme, Home Economics Coordinator for the 4-H Clubs' Central Region, Sylvia Porteous, said the training, which commenced in 2001, is equipping the participants for the job market.

“Our graduates have been placed in recognised food establishments. One came to visit us recently and spoke of working on a cruise ship, others have gone on the farm work programme, some have gone to start their own businesses, while others have gone on to level 2 in Commercial Food Preparation at the Ebony Park and Runaway Bay HEART Academies, and also to teachers colleges,” she boasted.

Manager at the Denbigh 4-H Training Centre, where the Tractor Operation and Maintenance is offered, Derrick Wilson, said the cost of the training has remained low because trainers have been volunteering their time.

“This programme was implemented as a service to society, rather than an income-generating activity,” he said.

Chief Executive Officer of COK Solidarity Cooperative Credit Union, Jacqueline Mighty, who was the guest speaker at the event, urged the young people to use the skills gained to start their own businesses.

“I urge you to hone the type of adventurous mindset, which will make you courageous enough to be creative and innovative, take calculated risks and to derive all the benefits that come from becoming your own boss.  

“I urge you too to remember that it is the entrepreneurial spirit of a people that can transform individual lives and the economy as a whole. I am proud that Jamaica is full of citizens, who are able to find opportunities in the most seemingly impossible situations,” she stated.

Executive Director for the Jamaica 4-H Clubs, Lenworth Fulton, in his remarks, said he was pleased to see the many lives that the training programmes have transformed.  He further encouraged the graduates to use their new skills to improve their lives.

The Tractor Operation and Maintenance training programme is the only one of its type offered at a training institution in the Caribbean.

The training programmes at the 4-H Training Centre are heavily subsidised, and are validated by Heart/NTA, and the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET).

 

By GARFIELD ANGUS, JIS Reporter