JIS News

Over 300 civil servants based in Portland, who have successfully completed training in a wide cross-section of areas under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Training Programme, will be graduating today (September 28).
Speaking with JIS News, Principal Director, Corporate Management and Development (CMD) in the Public Sector Reform Unit (PSRU), Leonie Harris said that the ceremony will take place at the College of Agriculture, Science and Education (CASE), with Dr. Donald Rhodd, Minister of State, Ministry of National Security and Member of Parliament, East Portland, being the guest speaker.
“The MOU training programme began in July 2004 with 18 training institutions partnering with the Cabinet Office in delivering 54 courses to 1,100 employees. The courses include basic computer, computer graphics, meeting and conference planning, etiquette and social graces, Spanish, entrepreneurship, drapery making and floral arrangement,” the Principal Director explained. In June 2005, the programme was expanded to five other parishes and to other categories of workers and public sector organizations.
According to Mrs. Harris, 1,600 employees completed 118 courses offered by 42 training institutions, which included high schools, community colleges, teachers’ colleges, HEART Academies and community based training institutions. Courses included bridal consultancy, child care, landscaping, housekeeping, motor vehicle repairs, electrical installation, tiling, first aid and webpage design. “The new MOU signed in 2006 will give civil servants the opportunity to be trained in areas such as computer skills, food and beverage, cake baking and decoration, food preparation, landscaping, housekeeping, garment construction and drapery, entrepreneurship, graphic designing and English Language,” she said.
To date, 28 categories of workers in the Public Sector have benefited from the Programme involving 64 public sector organizations. Seventy training institutions have conducted 288 courses with 4,100 employees successfully completing courses.
Some public sector workers, under this new MOU, may also participate in training in areas such as e-government, project, change and stress management, writing skills and conflict resolution, which will directly contribute to improved job performance.
In February 2004, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between the Government of Jamaica and the Jamaica Confederation of Trade Unions (JCTU) outlining the collaborative measures to be implemented to promote the country’s sustainable development.
Included in the various clauses of the agreement was a commitment “to improve the quality of the labour force through training, retraining and education and the maintenance of core labour standards in the public sector”.
With this commitment as a basis, a training programme was designed aimed at public sector employees, to prepare the workforce for the needs of a modern labour market. Workers were asked to identify the skills which they wanted to acquire and from this, a Summer Training Programme was developed. The employees, under the training programme, were eligible to access training in a wide cross-section of vocational skills.