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JIS News

Ex-banana workers in St. Thomas are expected to attend a one-day Career Counselling Workshop, at the Hampton Court Community Centre, on Monday, December 15, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
Hundreds of workers in the industry were laid off recently, following the closure of Eastern Banana Estates Limited.
The workshop, organised by HEART Trust/NTA, is part of the Banana Sector Retraining Project of the European Union’s (EU) Banana Support Programme.
Similar workshops are scheduled to take place in banana communities in Clarendon, Portland, St. Catherine, St James, and St. Mary. The first workshop was held at the Grays Inn Sports Complex in Annotto Bay, St. Mary, on
December 3. Others will take place in St. James, Clarendon and St. Catherine on January 7, 12 and 14, 2009, respectively.
It is expected that a total of 620 persons from the banana producing communities will benefit from the counselling sessions, vocational training, and certification programmes to be implemented by HEART Trust/NTA or partner institutions.
Planning Officer at HEART Trust/NTA, Carla Campbell, told JIS News that the workshop would inform participants of career options and certification opportunities, and help them to identify other ways of earning a living.
“They will hear what the opportunities are. We will try to get them in the right frame of mind, that all is not lost. Training is the way to go or is an option that is available to them,” she added. Ms. Campbell said that 50 participants would have access to skills training courses at various facilities in St. Thomas.
Training will be provided in areas such as: data collection, building construction, housekeeping, livestock rearing, cocoa production, and agro processing.